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.

New Grand, RKS/DE

Once upon a time, the Grand Hotel Prishtina held one of Kosovo’s most prestigious collections of contemporary art. Rivalled only by that of the National Gallery, it encompassed hundreds of paintings and prints, tapestries, sculptures and mosaics.

At that time owned and run by the state, the hotel became a major player in the art market, which was managed by state-subsidised art associations. Since the privatization of the hotel in 2008, the art has disappeared from the walls, much of it having been destroyed, lost or stolen. No state collection has emerged to replace the art – or to support the country’s artists. New Grand is a speculative response to the void.

Which works would the Grand collect today? Which artists would it commission to engage with its empty walls and corridors? And which themes, which memories, which existential questions and desires would their works explore? Six young artists from Kosovo formulate a collective response to these questions: Blerta Hashani, Arbnor Karaliti, Lumturie Krasniqi, Mimoza Sahiti, Valdrin Thaqi and Ermir Zhinipotoku.