Sislej Xhafa

Brooklyn, New York, USA
APT Dubai
Artist Social Media
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  • Highlights of the National Pavilions in the Arsenale.

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  • 10 Exhibitions Opening This Week

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  • The 2017 Venice Biennale, opening on May 13, has revealed the list of one hundred and twenty artists participating in the international exhibition “Viva Arte Viva,” curated by Christine Macel.

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  • The ongoing solo exhibition by Sislej Xhafa, titled 'Fireworks in my Closet', at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, will come to an end on January 15

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  • A collective fundraising exhibition in aid of Pianoterra onlus.

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  • 'Fireworks in my Closet', a solo exhibition presenting the newest works of acclaimed artist Sislej Xhafa, is on view at Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, and will run through January 15, 2017.

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  • Blain|Southern is presenting asymmetric désir, the first ever solo exhibition by Kosovar artist Sislej Xhafa in the United Kingdom.

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  • The contemporary art funds of the city and canton of Geneva (FCAC and Fmac) are innovating in the sphere of public art by commissioning luminous artwork

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“Reality is stronger that art. As an artist I do not want to reflect a reality, but I do want to question it. My social upbringing does not embrace, rational linear actions. I approach the world and life with primal instinctive behaviour.” - Interview with Gilane Tawadros and Sislej Xhafa for the catalogue of the exhibition TRANSMISSION INTERRUPTED in Modern Art Oxford

Born in Peja, Kosova in 1970 artist Sislej Xhafa, who is based in New York is known for his artistic investigation into the social, economical and political realities associated with the various complexities of modern society. Xhafa has over the years highlighted his artistic work on economic and social themes, political realities, as they interact with the protean variety of modern society.His investigations, for example, into phenomena of tourism or forced illegality use a minimal language and they are at the same time ironic and subversive, practicing indifferently a wide range of media, from sculpture to drawing, from performance to photography.

The social results of economic theories, and on the whole the conceptual outcome that derives from their complex relations, have been for years at the heart of Sislej Xhafa’s artistic research, that questions the legal status of his country of origin, Kosovo, presenting himself as the Clandestine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; or in the shoes of a broker who does not sell shares but buys and sells the departures and arrivals of trains in the performance “Stock Exchange”. In a square in Torino, he sets up a temporary job centre which in reality is a sort of stage set; in New York, he reflects on the concept of security and stability, and in Manhattan he gets a truck of the 1950s full of young lawyers to go up the main road as they recite aloud the page of the yellow pages under the entry “Lawyers”.

“It’s a politics of interruption, upsetting the configuration of forces determining what is visible and what is not, what forms of speech are understood as discourse and which are only perceptible as noise, who is designated as a speaking subject and who is merely spoken to”. Jacob Proctor, Playing Prisoner’s Dilemma – Iniside the world of Sislej Xhafa in «Bidoun», #11, Summer 200

Xhafa has exhibited widely including at the François Pinault Foundation The World Belongs to You, Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Hardau City Park Y, Zürich; MADRE Museum of Contemporary Art Donna Reggina Still Untitled, Napoli; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Rearview Mirror, Toronto; PRISM Misericordia West Hollywood, California; MAXXI Spazio. Dalle collezioni di arte e architettura Roma; Il Museo Privato. La passione per l’arte contemporanea nelle collezioni bergamasche GAMeC Bergamo; Röda Sten 2705 Baci…Göteborg (2010), MART Rovereto; Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Language and Experimentations; PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milano Ibrido. Genetica delle forme; DEPO Indefinite Destinations Istanbul; MADRE Barock, Napoli(2009); Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba; Modern Art Oxford Transmission Interrupted; Biennale of Gwangju, Gwangju, Korea ; MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art of Detroit Business As Usual; Schirn Kunsthalle All-Inclusive. A Tourist World Frankfurt (2008); Istanbul Museum Of Modern Art Time Present, Time Past, Istanbul; Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art Rethinking Dissent, Göteborg, Sweden; Mori Art Museum All About Laughter Humor in Contemporary art Tokyo (2007); PERFORMA05 performance biennial New York (2005); I Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, Fundación BIACS, La alegria de mis sueños, Monasterio la Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuervas, Sevilla; The Renaissance Society, New Video, New Europe, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, St.Louis; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, North Dakota Museum ofArt, Grand Forks; Fundació ‘la Caixa’ la Sala Montcada, Barcelona; Haifa Museum of Art, Israel (2004), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003), Gwangju Biennial, Pause, Gwangju, (2002); Istanbul Biennial, Egofugal, Istanbul; S.M.A.K., Casino, Gent; PS1, Uniform, New York (2001); Manifesta III, Ljubljana, Slovenia, S.M.A.K., Over the Edges, Gent (2000); and the Venice Biennale (1997,1999 & 2005).

Sislej Xhafa is represented by GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin and Christine König Galerie, Vienna. 

For additional information about this artist, visit Mutual Art