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.

Nusret Salihamixhiqi, RKS

Nusret Salihamixhiqi is one of Kosovo’s foremost modernist artists. With his preference for the primitive, the blithe alterity of his child-like figurations, his landscapes, his lines, his use of colour, Salihamixhiqi was clearly drawn to the techniques and ideas underlying surrealism and art brut.

In looking at his paintings and drawings, one immediately senses an affinity for the work of Paul Klee, Jean Dubuffet and Joan Miró. While there is no denying the interiority of his pictorial compositions, Salihamixhiqi seems to have been less fascinated by the unconscious per se than by the alternate universes it can bring to life.

From the 1960s onwards, he dedicated himself to the creation of a more-than-human otherworld, referring to his practice as “the game”. Mapped out in thousands of works on canvas, cardboard and paper, it is an unbounded world as remarkable for its fluid coherence as for the affability and sociability of the creatures that inhabit it.