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.

Alketa Xhafa Mripa, RKS

The last worldly act people traditionally perform for those they love is to bathe their body before burial.

Such ritual washing, known as ablution, is common to many faiths, among them Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Specific to Islam is that the cleansing and purification are conducted by close family members.

Typically, women wash women’s bodies and men wash those of men, except in the case of husbands and wives. In her minimalistic video In the Name of the Father, Alketa Xhafa Mripa adapts this ritual, first by performing it while her father is alive – and thus still able to sense the love conveyed by her touch – and second by crossing the gender divide.

At the same time, this simple act of intimacy and care explores patriarchal power relations by exposing the frailty and vulnerability of the father, one of Kosovo’s most accomplished artists. What is striking – and moving – is the father’s consent to the exposure: in the name of his daughter.