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.

Artan Hajrullahu, RKS

There is a nostalgia, says Artan Hajrullahu, about the household objects he grew up with: handmade laceworks and blankets, mirrors and wood stoves, toys, televisions and watermelons.

Each object reminds him of a story, and that story always relates to another story. More often than not, these stories revolve around love and intimacy: between couples, parents and children, brothers and sisters, cousins and in-laws. Hajrullahu relives these micronarratives in small-format drawings depicting scenes from everyday life.

Habitually executed on packing paper, his works cultivate a poetic simplicity and gentle irony, often showing whole families huddled together in one room. His portrayal of warmth and togetherness becomes more controversial when it coincides with nudity, still a social taboo in Kosovo, or when it makes fun of the conventions around marriage or gender division.