Astrit Ismaili at SALTS

Artist: Astrit Ismaili

Exhibition title: The New Body

Proposed by: LambdaLambdaLambda

Venue: SALTS, Birsfelden, Switzerland

Date: March 24 – May 19, 2018

Photography: Live Performance Photography: Nicholas Gysin / Installation shots: Gunnar Meier Photography / Courtesy: SALTS & the Artists

SALTS presents The New Body, a solo exhibition by Amsterdam-based artist Astrit Ismaili, proposed by LambdaLambdaLambda, a contemporary gallery space established in 2015 in Pristina, Kosovo.

The New Body includes a live work performed by the artist on the occasion of the opening, of which the video recording is presented as a hologram in the exhibition space.

As a continuation of Ismaili’s interest in using performance and theatrical channels to ex-plore a body politic, the exhibition explores the role presence and absence play in articulat-ing political gestures. Ismaili’s use of hologram technology is propositional—extending the body beyond the standardised frames of representation through which we perceive race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class. The shift from live to avatar performatives can thus be considered a way of relating to human bodies outside the temporal and spatial confines of performance. Central to Ismaili’s interest in performance is how identities are constructed and interpreted through contemporary mechanisms, but also how they are heard, asking what it means to sonify a body politic. During the performance, sonic adjuncts installed onto the artist’s body trigger different soundscapes as they move through the gallery. By translating the body’s gestures into sound, the artist aims at disrupting prevailing narra-tives around representation, imagining new and utopic ways of thinking about how bodies inhabit and occupy space.

The work of Astrit Ismaili (*1991 in Kosovo, lives and works in Amsterdam) evokes themes such as family, gender and transformation through intimate meta-theatrical performances. Ismaili graduated from the DasArts Graduate School in Amsterdam in 2016 and is the re-cipient of several awards, including the Young Visual Artist Award/Artist of Tomorrow Award (2011), Best Director at the Skena Up International Student Festival (2011) and Best Video Performance at Video Fest (2014). Recent performances include UNIKAT (with Suwane Jo) and The Nymph, NEU NOW Festival, Amsterdam (2017); and NEMESIS, Amsterdam Art Weekend, Juliette Jongma Gallery, Amsterdam (2017).