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.

Off Season, AL/RO

The Off Season Artist Residency is an experimental platform for investigating tourism through artistic research and practice. Established by a collective of cultural workers from Kosovo, Albania, Romania and Germany, it specifically explores the relationship of tourism with the development and heritage of Southeast Europe – and with the art world at large.

The first edition of the residency took place at the Albanian seaside resort of Radhima in the early stages of the pandemic. Taking advantage of the emptiness of a place otherwise overrun by tourists, the participants spent three weeks exploring the area.

The sculptures, sound installations, videos and texts emerging from their enquiry reflect the eerie coexistence of picturesque seas and skies with the vestiges of the communist era, its militant paranoia still inscribed in the landscape and the memory of those who live there.

The exhibition of the works was conceived as a travelling “tourist agency”. Beginning last autumn in Tirana, the show has meanwhile toured to Bucharest, Cluj and Radhima, evolving as it moves. The final stop on its itinerary was Prishtina.