Driton Selmani: Prrallë

Driton Selmani’s single artwork exhibition Prrallë

On September 16, Driton Selmani, an artist from Kosovo, opens an exhibition at “apiece”, a showcase-style gallery whose strategy focuses on autonomic artistic expression. It is the first time this interdisciplinary artist will be presenting their work in Lithuania.

Selmani’s artistic practice uses a variety of media and means of expression, but text (the power of words) plays a particularly significant role. Through short maxims, the artist seeks to reveal not only new meanings but also new uncertainties. His textual works are witty and cover a wide range of topics, including politics, ecology, art, and philosophy.

Born and raised in the capital of Kosovo, the artist was inculcated from a young age the idea of worshipping a country that no longer exists, which led him to be sarcastic about any perceived truth and/or reality.

The title of the work presented in the gallery “apiece” is the Albanian word Prrallë, meaning fairy tale. As the sentence “You will become a song” gracefully revolves on its axis, it transforms into a totem of profound spiritual essence, infused with the captivating power of words and their rhythmic passage through time. The phrase becomes a mantra that does not, however, determine whether the transformation of our story into a song/fairytale is fate or inevitability. Contextually, the work also encodes the period of Lithuania’s Restoration of Independence and the so-called “singing revolution” marked by numerous demonstrations, rallies, and “Marches of Rock” in the country. For the Baltic States, the song became the main expression of peaceful revolution.

Song, like fairytales, is an essential part of cultural heritage and includes both preservation of unique traditions and the presentation of symbolism that resonates with human emotions and experiences. The oral aspect of performing songs or telling stories strengthens bonds and emphasizes the importance of preserving cultural narratives across generations. According to the artist, the work focuses on the idea of linking the inner perception of personal trajectories with the residues of modern society, at this critical point in human history. While re-contextualizing both the words and the meanings they have in different cultures, Selmani’s work sparks conversations about the complexities of contemporary life and the role of visual culture in shaping our perceptions and beliefs.

Driton Selmani graduated from Arts University Bournemouth (MA) in the UK.

He has exhibited at solo and group exhibitions at MAXXI Museum (Rome), Kunsthaus (Graz), MMSU  Rijeka’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Croatia), Ludwig Múzeum ( Budapest), Stacion Center For Contemporary Art in ( Pristina), Kunstraum Niederosterreich (Vienna), Casa Contemporanea (São Paulo), Mediterranea Biennial 16 (Ancona, Italy), U10 (Belgrade), 5th Marrakesh Biennial, Amsterdam Light Festival,  Fabbrica del Vapore (Milan, Italy), Bregenz Biennale 2018, Exchiesetta (Polignano a Mare, Italy), National Art Gallery (Tirana), La Maison des Arts (Brussels), Škuc Gallery (Ljubljana), MoCA Museum of Contemporary Art (Skopje), Kahan Art Space (Vienna & Budapest), and others. In 2022, his artwork Love Letters that has been ongoing since 2018 was presented at the MANIFESTA’16 biennial distinguished for its nomadic character and a focus on the dialogue between contemporary art and society.

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė

Communication: Menų Komunikacija

Design: Marek Voida

Exhibition funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City Municipality

Exhibition open from September 16 to October 13 2023

Exhibition can be viewed 24/7

More about the artist: dritonselmani.com