ENGLISH
HRVATSKI
ART-e-FACT, STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE issue01: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION [you are here] issue02: UTOPIA issue03: TECHNOMYTHOLOGIES issue04: GLOCALOGUE

ARTWORK
NEIGHBOURS
ONLINE
Beqiri's Love Shop (Image from)
Sokol Beqiri

ART WORK
IMAGE OF MEETING POINT: A SEARCH BY TANJA DABO
PHOTOG.
Meeting point: a search
Tanja Dabo
NEIGHBOURS

Meeting point: a search
Tanja Dabo
 
Beqiri's
Love Shop

Sokol Beqiri
 
The Fear of Newcomers
Ivana Keser
 
Liberty
Nebojša Šerić Šoba
 
Balkan - Ich wohne in berlin
Jovan Balov
 

ART WORK

 
 
IN-BETWEEN
 
 
 
 





ART WORK
NEIGHBOURS
ONLINE
Beqiri's Love Shop (Images from)
Sokol Beqiri

bEQIRI'S Love Shop
Sokol Beqiri

In the artistic scene of Kosova in 90's, a new generation of artists emerged, which brought into question the earlier academism, national romanticism and modernism of provincial character. The key figure of this revolution was Sokol Beqiri (1964, PejŽ). Main characteristics of the art of Sokol Beqiri are conceptuality, (self) reflection and radicalism. Since his first works, in mid nineties, Beqiri directly and openly deals with the dark and demonic human nature, and does not restrain from presenting self-ironical position of the artist himself, including it in brutal objects and installing his cloned images, or alienated parts of the body (hair, nails...).

After the war, Sokol Beqiri deals even more openly with the scandal of evil in reality and art. Getting involved in the famous question of Theodore Adorn on the (im)possibility of poetry/art after Auschwitz, Beqiri sets forth through the dark zone of the idea and precedent which platonically may be called mimesis of evil. Performances were realized in the burned ruins of 'Qarshia e Vjeter' (Old Downtown) in Peja, in the exhibition Kosova's Golgotha (November, December 1999), in the installation Think Pink (2001), Hallo Christo! Greetings from Peja, then video performances Milka (2000) and New York, New York (2001), installation When Angels are Late (2001), are not only visual reminiscences and artistic reactions against bestialities of the war. It raises the question of complicity in evil, from which not even art is exempt.

In his new works Fuck You ("Beautiful Strangers" exhibition, Gallery IFA, Berlin 2001), Beqiri's Love Shop and Building the Walls (2001, Strasbourg, Workshop Mobility and Nomadism in multicultural Europe"), Beqiri abandons his obsession with crime and violence and starts a new series of works under a collective title "Love signs". In comparison to blood and brutality of the previous set, the new one seems fluttery and happy. However, questions he asks himself and us in these works are as radical and blasphemous as the ones from the previous series, as their intention is to reveal the hypocrisy of other aspects of social violence.

In the video performances (Milka, New York, New York...), Beqiri ironically emphasizes the profound distance that divides, but also links, the world of evil and violence with the world of luxury and wealth. They may be taken as a retort on abhorrence of West towards the so-called "Balkan Barbarism". However, artist suggests that the west, in an altered and sophisticated way, is also evil and sanguinary. The basis of civilization is daily violence and slaughter of millions of living creatures, with which, there and here in 'barbarian' countries, we feed ourselves. The world in a way is united in violence and evil. "We are the reverse side, the other side of the medal", is the implicit message of Beqiri to the western arrogance. But, the message may be read vice versa, towards us, that saint and wealthy west, as our hyper designed ideal from advertisements, is just a hyper embellished and idealized picture of the same evil, desperation and shit in which we are living.

In the project Mobility and "Nomadism of artists in the multicultural Europe", Beqiri also retains the same profound ironical attitude of two people of the same world. If we express similar signs of hatred and violence/destruction, only that you are richer and know better how to pack your failures and fear, and have a much higher price, then we are similar in expressing signs of love, but with a somehow reverse order in manifestation of potential, because in our poverty we do not have what to hide and we are prone to a sale, we give ourselves and we sell.

The idea is subtler. Beqiri takes photographs of whores in the streets of Strasbourg, one of the centers of Europe, while they wave the flags of European Union. Are there any more mobile creatures than whores? And these are street hookers that have come from the East to Europe of dreams and ideals.

One can make the essential question: who fucks whom in this mobility and multiculturalism of separated and again united Europe? In a symbolic sense, we the Easterners fuck you, Westerners, because you are our ideal, our fairy tale princes, even though you think you fuck us, because you can pay us and settle the accounts.
Otherwise, there is nothing perverse in the project, apart from natural kitsch prostitution (and kitsch is artist's permanent obsession, since his very first performances). However, ironically, culmination of the kitsch in these images is mostly expressed in the EU blue flags, with that golden stars circle, like grounded and nomadic constellation that unites Europe in lies. Nomad invasion of Europe where East can mostly sell freely only its body, its pussies and its dicks, brings us back to the leitmotif of Beqiri's idea about almost hopeless hypocrisy and perversity of the civilization.

Sokol Beqiri
Artist based in Pec, Kosovo
sokol_b@yahoo.com


Shkelzen Maliqi
Curator and Critic based in Prishtina, Kosovo
(shmaliqi@hotmail.com)





REPORTS
MAP
IMAGE OF BODO KAPING
INTERVIEW
Interview with Bodo Kaping
OVERVIEW

Trafficking
Lovorka Marinović
A booming sex slavery trade --trafficking and the exploitation of women

Migration as a Global & Local Problem
Božena Katanec
Freedom, frustration, and the countries in-between

Interview with Bodo Kaping
Oliver Ressler & Martin Kren
Excerpt from the video "Border Crossing Services",


 WRITINGS
LOOKING FOR A HUSBAND WITH AN EU PASSPORT BY TANJA OSTOJIC
ONLINE
Looking for a husband with an EU passport
Tanja Ostojić
THEORY

PRISONERS OF A GLOBAL PARANOIA
Žarko Paić
Ježevo as a permanent twilight zone between borders, politics and ideas.

Thnking in Exile
Suzana Milevska
I live, I dwell means the same as I am... Philosophical ideas connecting ourselves and our living spaces.

Jezevo - a story without a happy ending
Marina Gržinić
Ježevo as the cordon sanitaire of Europe.

Illegal migrants and late capitalism
Rastko Močnik
Unprecedented global inequality -- the final crisis of Capitalism?