Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo 
60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

The Echoing Silences of Metal and Skin 
Doruntina Kastrati

Curated by  
Erëmirë Krasniqi 

The sculptural installation The Echoing Silences of Metal and Skin addresses feminized labor and workplace inequality. Investigating the joint deindustrialization of the economy and deregulation of the labor market, Doruntina Kastrati encounters the (im)material forms of precarious employment in light industries in the aftermath of the 1999 Kosovo War.

The gendered labor in industries like food production has rendered women economically vulnerable and pushed them to the political margins. Kastrati’s project engages with the experiences of twelve female workers of a Turkish delight factory in Prizren, Kosovo’s second largest city and the artist’s hometown. In part because the factory’s employees perform their work from a standing position, nearly one third of them undergo knee replacement surgery. The metal objects that are implanted in their knees are traces of the long hours they work for low wages.

Kastrati’s installation consists of metal sculptures modeled after the walnut shells that are used as ingredients in Turkish delights. Charged with symbolic meaning while alluding to the estrangement of working-class women, the pavilion’s constituent parts honor first-person narratives and create incisive associations.

The Venice Biennale is set to run from April 20 to November 24, 2024. 

Commissioned by Hana Halilaj, 
National Gallery of Kosovo 

Organized by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Republic of Kosovo

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