Astrit Ismaili (RKS/NL)
Residency period: May-July 2024
Born in Kosovo in 1991 and currently based in Amsterdam, Astrit Ismaili explores the transformative potential of bodies and spaces in their performances. By presenting characters, most of them singers, symbolic figures, or alter egos made up of fictional, historical, and personal references, the artist also explores the role of the voice in pop culture and its relationship with identity politics. Using body extensions and portable musical instruments, Ismaili’s work embodies the possibility of constructing new worlds and shaping new icons, while blurring the intimate relationship between performer and audience.
Ismaili graduated with an MA in Performance from the Amsterdam Academy of Theatre and Dance in 2016 and is currently teaching in the MA program at the Institute Art Gender Nature (IAGN) in Basel. Their work has been presented at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2022), the Neues Museum in Nuremberg (2022), Impulstanz in Vienna (2021), the Salzburger Kunstverein 2020, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2018), and SALTS in Basel (2018), among others. Ismaili has co-organized the performance project Prishtinë Mon Amour and several events in the Lost & Found series in Amsterdam, in which artists, writers, scientists, and musicians present hybrid works that are not allowed a place in galleries or museums.
During their residency, Ismaili will continue their recent research into the notion of “creativity when limited”, which refers to their own history and to figures from the past who overcame certain environmental and socio-political limits. Ismaili will also take advantage of their stay at La Becque to finalize a series of drawings depicting the chaotic yet harmonious interactions between humans, the supernatural, and machines. Continuing their work of amplifying voices, figures, and narratives that have been forgotten or expunged from history, Ismaili will develop the final stages of a future exhibition format comprising a performance, a sound installation, an album, a concert, and a short film.
Astrit Ismaili, photo Camille Ramanana Rahary