Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Astrit Ismaili, RKS

Astrit Ismaili explores the possibilities of ‘being as becoming’ within the realm of performance. In alter egos, body extensions and wearable musical instruments, they think of, about and through the body: as it transforms and is transformed, as it moves, makes sound and makes contact, as it extends and exceeds itself, reaching out to and touching the other. In the performance LYNX, the artist works with five newly designed wearable musical instruments.

These creaturely “portals of transformation”, as Ismaili calls them, consist of long threads conjoining the performers with metal sculptures and repositories of sound. Here original songs composed by the artist intertwine with a plethora of fragments sourced from art, popular culture and politics.

Both songs and fragments touch upon themes of tradition and violence, restriction and resistance, desire, fear and resilience. The performers activate and interact with the sounds by both pulling the threads with their bodies and using their voices. After the performance, the instruments and sounds are transformed into an installation.