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.

Bora Baboçi, AL

Images flow in and out of memory. They recur, though they invariably shift and wander, forever altering their orientation and alliances. In her work, Bora Baboçi explores the elusive nature of memory through the process of embodied composition.

She draws upon an imaginary of aquatic qualities, its depths becoming surfaces, transparencies fading into opacities amid seemingly infinite images of fragile narration. The work comprises an engulfing, dreamlike drawing – a composition in waiting – and footage of the artist’s collaborative enquiry with choreographer Gentian Doda.

The two offer instructions to the visitors on ways to interact with the composition – and to thus participate in its becoming. In her non-linear, iterative enquiry, the artist reflects on how the perception of belonging, origin stories and their seemingly natural qualities occur within the constraints of body, space and time, while inevitably being at odds with all three.

In this, she keeps company with American writer Gertrude Stein, who muses that “composition is not there, it is going to be there and we are here. This is some time ago for us naturally”.