Petrit Halilaj's work investigates themes of cultural identity, nationhood and heritage, and ideas around personal and political freedom. Halilaj lives and works between Germany, Kosovo and Italy. He uses a variety of media including sculpture, video, drawing and text, as well as traditional fabrics and materials.
For this exhibition, Halilaj presents a powerful new work that uses as a point of departure drawings he made in a refugee camp in Albania during the Kosovo war (1998–99) when he was thirteen years old. Through a layering of large-scale images throughout the gallery, Halilaj creates a poignant universe of rural landscapes, birds and other animals, interspersed with scenes of war and violence, combinations that recall his original visual expressions but are experienced now from the relative distance of time. As a scenography, it reveals different and overlapping perspectives that complicate the relationship between reality and imagination, official histories and personal and collective memory.
Supported by the Petrit Halilaj Exhibition Supporters Circle: Huo Family Foundation (UK) Limited, and Tate Members.