The City is Everywhere, Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo at La Biennale di Venezia 2018 is Officially Open
Jehona Shyti, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Kosovo Republic
Assistant: Dea Buza
Collaborators: Ardita Byci Jakupi, Bora Kelmendi, Dasara Pula, Dea Buza, Donika Luzhnica, Dukagjin Hasimja, Elisa Maxhuni, Erblin Bucalliu, Flakë Zeneli, Gresa Kastrati, Gëzim Radiniqi, Meral Hallaqi, Ilir Gjinolli, Ilirjana Haxhiaj, Kruno Ivanisin, Leutrim Fishekgjiu, Lorik Sylejmani, and Lulzim Kabashi.
FOR RELEASE, MAY 24, 2018
Public Relations: Erëmirë Krasniqi
We are pleased to announce that today Kosovo Pavilion had its opening ceremony at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. The opening ceremony was held in the presence the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Kujtim Gashi, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Albena Reshitaj, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Behgjet Pacolli, the ambassador of Kosovo in Italy, Alma Lama, the Chairman of the Kosovo Assembly, Kadri Veseli and Përparim Rama and Gëzim Paçarizi, both architects who previously have curated the Pavilion of Kosovo at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The opening speech was held by the commissioner of Kosovo Pavilion, Jehona Shyti, who also set the stage for the other representatives of Kosovo institutions. Shyti showed her unconditional support towards the curator, Eliza Hoxha and thanked her for the work invested in bringing to the forefront the story of the parallel system of public institutions in the private houses in Kosovo in the 1990s. The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Kujtim Gashi emphasized the importance of returning to the Venice Architecture Biennale, after not being present in the last edition, and to present Kosovo in the international arena.
The City is Everywhere, takes as its starting point the house, which is always in the making; unfinished because it always acquires new public functions. The private and public become one and the same. It is in the ‘90s that the entire Albanian community shrank into private houses. The house became a public space, a school, a restaurant, a promotional activity space, an office, an art gallery, a hospital and a home at the same time.
A short speech was also held by the Chair of the Kosovo Assembly, Kadri Veseli, who commenting on the mirrors installed in the Kosovo Pavilion said that, “Eliza Hoxha, the artist, managed to convey the endlessness of hope and space and at the same time reflect on our ambitions as a nation. Kosovo is moving forward. Kosovo is not limited anymore.” The latter referring to the limitations Kosovo Albanians experienced in the 1990s.
The curator, Eliza Hoxha was educated in the home-schools in the periphery of the city, her curatorial concept draws from this personal experience. At the opening, she emphasized the importance of the solidarity shown in the ‘90s by the house owners who gave them away for free to be used for educational purposes.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Behgjet Pacolli, in his speech said that, “We are very creative as people. We have been through the war and one hardly notices the damages caused by it. This is so, only because our youth is very dynamic and has the will to work, it is imaginative and creative.”
For Hoxha, it was important to focus on the ‘90s, to look closely and give voice to untold stories of the cultural and political activism and resistance, and to tell this local story in a global setting.
The opening attracted the attention of many visitors, journalists and professionals from the field, including the President of the Venice Biennale, Paolo Baratta.
Photographs by: Majlinda Hoxha
Office of the President of Kosovo
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of European Integration
Ministry of Environment and