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.

Abi Shehu, AL

Abi Shehu presents selected completed works and other works in progress in an open studio situation. She invites visitors and guests to join her in thinking and talking about landscapes of transition as they relate to memory, subjectivity and ecology.

These are themes she explores in her analogue photography and video installations, which up until now have concentrated on the layers of time and perception that both form and inform her homeland.

Albania is a country still coming to terms with the historic isolation and endemic paranoia of the communist era. It is a place characterised by stark contrasts: vast mountain ranges meet mushroom-like bunkers scattered across the countryside, while ramshackle houses in remote villages coexist with high-rise apartment blocks and hotels in the cities and along the coast.

As part of her residency in Prishtina, she is pursuing a new line of artistic research around the city’s missing river, which was covered in the 1970s. Its absence is still keenly felt today.