Agnes Denes, an astounding human and an iconic New York-based feminist artist, has conceived a new artwork for Pristina, Sunflower Fields 2021. As of today, sunflower seeds are being planted in the center of Prishtina in order for the fields to grow and to inaugurate the third Autostrada Biennale in the summer 2021.
It will take some time for the seeds to flourish and for the city of Pristina to hold on to a living artwork right at the plateau of the Youth and Sports Palace in the city center. “Sunflowers are happy plants,” Agnes Denes notes. “For the Chinese it’s good luck and for the Incas it symbolizes the Sun God.” Alongside their beauty and their connotations for positive energy, it is crucial for the artist how they enrich the soil. The seeding addresses the care we need to show for the soil because “all life depends on this thin layer surrounding the globe.” From New York, she sends a heartwarming message of support to Prishtina “When things grow, blossom, life is expressing its transformations and secrets. Watch, listen, participate. We all can be like sunflowers, grow, nourish, endow others with our richness, turn to the sun, then reflect its warmth to all living creatures.”
The beginning of planting of Sunflower Fields 2021 coincides with Earth Day on the 22nd of April, an annual global event since 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Environmental activists, students and childeren from Pristina joined our team today in planting the seeds of the sunflower, hence becoming vital agents for the artwork and embracing one of the objectives of this year’s edition: the pivotal role of art within the society, and the invitation to the publics to co-create and co-own the artistic productions.
“In her 1969 Manifesto Agnes Denes declared that she wanted to leave the ivory tower of her studio and enter the world of global concerns, to “communicate the incommunicable, visualize the invisible, not accept the limitations society has accepted.” Throughout her life and career, she has imagined and initiated visionary environmental experiments of cohabitation through art. We are so honored that such a groundbreaking artist like Denes accepted our humble invitation and proposed a new artwork that makes sunflowers intervene into the everyday in the middle of Prishtina and Prizren in a gesture of seeing reality and still being able to dream” – say the curators Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza.
The complete work will be presented on the 1st of July, when the 3rd edition of Autostrada Biennale will officially begin in Prishtina. Sunflower Fields 2021 by Agnes Denes is presented in partnership with Manifesta 14 Prishtina.