Driton Selmani

‘My Country on my back’, Driton Selmani at exchiesetta

Exchiesetta is glad to host ‘My Country on my back’, the first solo show by the Kosovan artist Driton Selmani (Ferizaj, 1987), curated by Roberto Lacarbonara. This irksome and evocative land art installation is the result of the young artist's socio-political research. Every element is deliberately and unstably suspended in the precious surrounding of the Church of Saint Stephen. Handcrafted knives are tight to stretched ropes under some big black balloons floating in space. This image recalls the unresolved ambiguity of the current models of civil, political and religious society. The dagger, in fact, hints at a constant fight to survive, it does away with distances between bodies and translates into a material and physical conflict. Its “gravity” lays in the fact that it keeps men in a state of primordial brutality. It is the reason behind all expressions of indifference, behind every failed attempt at freeing society of violence.

‘My Country on my back’, installation detail

The title of the artwork, My Country on my back, also conveys the feeling of betrayal and deep mistrust felt by Kosovan people, who have just experienced the dramatical fights for independence and who are still today living through anti-government demonstrations, an economic crisis and the threat of terrorism. This is a Country that, “behind our backs”, seems to be on the verge of stabbing us and of offending our dignity. It is a Country that cannot fly nor look up, which constantly suffers its losses and fears for its freedoms. Selmani’s black balloons throw a shadow on the memory of parties and childhood games. This country on the other side of the Adriatic Sea and of the small medieval church in Polignano a Mare, is not a close and friendly land.

‘My Country on my back’, installation detail

Driton Selmani
Born in Ferizaj, Kosovo (1987), works in Prishtina.

Selected Exhibitions:

2016
The whale that was a submarine – Ludwig Múzeum Budapest
Young art from Kosovo - Galerie Lukas Feichtner, Vienna Austria

2015
Different Worlds - Photon Gallery Ljubljana Slovenia
Nationless – Thessaliniki Center of Contemporary Art Greece,
A new round of cultural dialogue – OCA Culture Re product Odžaci Serbia
Parallel Sprawl , Architecture Modelarium Pristina Kosovo
Panorama, Tulla Culture Center, Tirana, Albania

2014
Let us start from the middle – Tirana Art Lab – Tirana Albania
Here.Now.Where? A participatory project of sonic ambulation in Marrakesh’s taxis, 5th Marrakesh Biennial - Morocco
Zoo art 14 – Giardini Fresia, Cuneo Italy
Sculpture Me - Kunstraum Niederosterreich, Vienna, Austria
Anonymous lives - Batman Üniversitesi, Batman Turkey
Praise of Doubt – Onufri Prize XX, National Art Gallery,Tirana Albania

2013
Alternative Nomadi, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, Italy
EX - Ordinary No Borders No Nations, Collegium artisticum Sarajevo Bosnia

2012
Errors Allowed, Mediterranea 16 Young Artists Biennial, Ancona, Italy
Sex Lives of the Poor and Unknown, Polymer Culture Factory, Tallinn Estonia

Driton Selmani, ‘My Country on my back’
Curated by Roberto Lacarbonara
The exhibition can be visited 24 hours a day from the 7th of October to the 6th of November 2016
Exchiesetta, vico Santo Stefano, Polignano a Mare
Info: 334 7921142, info@exchiesetta.com

All photography by Michele Giacovelli