The Echoing
of Metal and Skin

Project title: The Echoing Silences of Metal and Skin Doruntina Kastrati

Curator: Erëmirë Krasniqi
Commissioner: Hana Halilaj

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

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

Doruntina Kastrati’s sculpture installation The Echoing Silences of Metal and Skin, Kosovo’s presentation at the 60th International Venice Biennale, addresses feminized labor and workplace inequities.

The deindustrialization of the economy and deregulation of the labor market in the aftermath of the 1999 War in Kosovo, generated opportunities for light industries (e.g., production of food, paper, plastic etc.) to flourish. This situation created a demand for low-paid and flexible female labor. Engaging in waged labor has granted women a measure of financial independence and social participation. Far from emancipatory, the feminisation of labor in light industries has kept traditional gender roles intact, and by involving little or no upward mobility, has rendered women economically vulnerable and politically marginal. 

Kastrati’s project The Echoing Silences of Metal and Skin brings into public view women’s narratives, who work at the margins of society. Factory work is repetitive and performed only while standing. In this line of work, close to one third of women undergo knee replacement surgery; the metal objects surgically implanted in their knees are material traces of their long working hours yielding little pay. Intending to prompt reflection on why and how exploitative labor practices have been able to persist, the artist will do so abstractly, emphasizing the embodied characteristics of materials, particularly metal. Loaded with discreet and quiet symbolism, representing estrangement of working-class women, the project comes together in a web of associations, references, and stories.

The exhibition opens on 20 April 2024 and runs through to 27 November 2024.

Museo Storico Navale della Marina Militare Riva S. Biasio, 2148,  30122 Venezia VE, Italy

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