Petrit Halilaj

Petrit Halijaj

Work from Kostërrc (CH).

“Kostërrc (CH), 2011 consists of a hole (600 x 400 x 230 cm high) made in the Kostërrc hill in Kosovo. This hill is property of the Halilaj family and the original location of the house where the artist was born. The soil taken from the hole is transported to Basel, to nearly fill the booth at the fair. This “land for sale” relates both to many personal and intimate questions which are integral to the artist’s research, as well as to social and cultural problematics linked to the newborn state of Kosovo and its migration phenomena (with a particular relation to Switzerland).

The huge effort required to move the soil also becomes a symbol of the difficulties of migration and integration, of the strong attachment to a culture which may become a self-detriment when preserved in another culture. With the gesture of bringing a piece of Kosovo to Switzerland, a country where one of the larger foreign community is actually from Kosovo, the artist not only tries to move its land into other surroundings – following the dream of many of its inhabitants – but he also brings the Kosovo community in Switzerland a little piece of their land. The process shows all the difficulties related to migration, and the near-impossibility of preserving an integrity from one context to another.” – CHERT Galerie.

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