Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Petrit Halilaj at Kamel Mennour


"composed of a group of 12 school desks [...] from the Primary School “Shotë Galica” in Runik , a small town in the north of Kosovo, where Halilaj lived and studied. The artist discovered [...] while filming the demolishing of the building of the school in favour of a new and more modern one. The green surface of the desks and the wooden benches were covered with thousands of drawings, inscriptions, carvings and scribbles left by several generations of school kids. [...] reproducing and enlarging these drawings in his sculptures..."

The desire to preserve often comes with attempts to rectify, solidify, clean, put it in frames, protect it from the world with cushions and embalm it, so its nice to see the graffiti of children maintain a bit of its chicken scratch projected like leaded ghosts on walls. There's no desire to clean it up, Halijaj is like a povera artist on roids even amidst a sea of it in contemporary art, the sentimentality balanced with material mysticism bearing the weight of history in all its unkempt detritus, so the sky transmits Eminem.