Astrit Ismaili: “The body is always present in my work”

Until 29 January, the CC Tobačna 001 is hosting the exhibition UNIQUE, which opened with a performance act of the Kosovar artist Astrit Ismaili. The artist also gave a statement for Osmi dan (RTV Slovenia): “I started as a visual artist, my background is actually theatre directing. My interests flow in different fields, different focuses, but what is always present in my work is the body. The body in its relation to space, to society, the body as the human body, the impossible body, all these different aspects of the body…”

© Matevž Paternoster/MGML

“Right now I am interested in gender identity. I think that I am queer and my work is queer, but it might also take a completely different turn. That is why I am an artist. I find unpredictability very interesting. The moment when something is predictable, it is over for me. That is why I am constantly changing and constantly discovering new things. I come from a country that has always been in transition, which has also been physically visible; from its architecture to the building of a new country. In a way this inspires me and motivates me to go onward and see what happens. What surprises me with Kosovo is that when you have the guts to do something, there is this fear of reactions of the people and the environment, but from my personal experiences the reactions were usually very positive. Maybe being the first one with nail polish on my fingers and having a family dinner with my make-up on. Before coming to that dinner I was stressed, but then things became normalised. This is how, in a way, things worked with me. In the beginning I did it out of necessity, because I am a very expressive person, but after a while people got used to it, and then they started to appreciate it. I think it is very important to stay loyal to yourself and to have the guts to express whatever you feel inside,” continued Astrit Ismaili.

Posted: 20. 1. 2016

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