For HOT MESS, Alban Muja is exhibiting a series of paintings titled 'Above Everyone', which showcase the urban reality of the post-war period in Kosovo. Mainly influenced by processes of sociopolitical and economic transformation occurring in the wider surrounding region, Muja investigates historical themes by linking them to his experience of Kosovo today.
In the series Above Everyone Muja portrays architectural hybrids, so-called ‘penthouses’, which have been illegally erected on top of already existing buildings. This was the homegrown solution for many of those citizens who had lost their homes during the war. Displaced, many resorted to illegally building annexes on top of already occupied houses, resulting in a form of unsanctioned DIY growing across the urban vista. For Muja, the visual documentation of these architectures remains associated with storytelling and qualitative research, each employed as a tool of social and anthropological analysis.
Alban Muja (b. 1980 in Mitrovica) is a Kosovan visual artist and filmmaker based in Prishtina and Berlin. He completed his BA and MA at Academy of Fine Arts at University of Prishtina. His works cover a wide range of media including video installation, short film, documentary film, drawings, paintings, photographs and performance which have been exhibited extensively in various festivals, art fairs, group and solo exhibitions including National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtina (2021); ICSP, New York City (2021); "In spite of everything, there is a wall', Charim Gallery, Vienna (2021); Ludwig Museum, Budapest (2020). In 2019 he represented Kosovo at the 58th Venice Biennale and he is currently one of the participating artists of Manifesta 14 in Prishtina (2022).
Acrylic and marker on canvas
5 canvases, 60 x 50 cm each