The Kosovo Pavilion at Venice Biennale features a circular tower made by 692 shkambis traditional wooden stools. The seatings that have been in use for over 10,000 years create a connection between the past and the present underlining the trauma of an imposed modernity in architecture that replaced the regional identity.
Curator Gëzim Paçarizi says “Kosovo can be a case study of erasure of the rich regional urban culture in the name of Modernity”. Under programs unknown to the indigenous people, the socialist government destroyed the neighbourhoods to make room for new buildings, enlarged streets and straightened the rivers”.
“That’s why Kosovo has never absorbed modernity. Modernity has been a synonym of destruction and foreign aesthetics. Our exhibition is about the process of making visible what we have lost and what we are left with during this painful period”.
The installation that plays with the idea of visibility and erasure comes also with a wall of 360 postcards. Each one shows buildings and spaces both as they were and as they are now.
Photos by Enrico Zilli