press release

Skinheads Swimming is the title of Sislej Xhafa’s second solo show at Galleria Laura Pecci. Simultaneously, a Xhafa show called Heavy Metal will be shown at the GAMeC in Bergamo, in the Project Room “Eldorado”. The silence of a dry faucet in the middle of an empty space is contrasted by a video projected in the adjacent room. Its images show two skinheads submerged in the cascading waters of the Trevi fountain, Rome’s pompous symbol of the dolce vita.

The Xhafa installation is an invitation to explore the contradictions of contemporary society. Stereotypes of prejudice and violence, the skinheads are observed in a completely different aspect of their being. In the first rays of dawn, in the silence of the city that is still asleep, the two young men gracefully enter the water and engage in childish games. This is almost a demonstration of how senseless it would be to try to wash away the “filth” from this part of humanity. Meanwhile, the faucet without water continues to refer us back to the more conventional aspects of an arid, emotionless existence.

Sislej Xhafa was born in 1970 in Peje (Kosovo) and lives in New York.

His work – performances, installations, videos, photographs – focuses on the phenomena of clandestinity and multiculturalism, with the aim of opening up discussion about clichés and stereotypes of modern life. His interests push him to examine topics that have steadily become increasingly complex, and lead toward the building of a new concept of art. His tools are irony and displacement of conventions.

Xhafa has taken part in important national and international exhibitions such as Over the Edges  Gent (2001), Zomer van de Poëzie  Watou (2000), Manifesta III  Ljubljana (2000), Chinese Whispers  New York (2000), Uniform PS1  New York (2001), Future of Old  Kunsthalle Bern (2001), Casino 2001  SMAK Museum  Gent (2001), Palais de Tokyo  Paris (2002).

He has also participated in the Istanbul Biennial (2001), the Tirana Biennial (2001), the Gwangiu Biennial (2002), and exhibited works at the Fondazione Teseco of Pisa (2002) and the GPM of Zagabria. Pressetext

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Sislej Xhafa - Skinheads Swimming