Vénera Kastrati with her video installation Sensation Seekers at the 53rd Venice Biennale
20 May 1975
|Education||Academy of Arts in Tirana, Brera Academy in Milan|
|Known for||Artist, Photography, Video, Drawing, Shadow theater, Sculpture, Objects, Sounds, Installation|
Life and career
Since childhood Kastrati experienced a double identity, as she was born to parents who were originally from Kosovo. This identity, suspended between Albania and Kosovo, is the source of many of her artworks.
She started studying violin at the age of five, then she kept up studying for five successive years at the Music School in Tirana. She stopped for different reasons and she did not have the chance to touch the violin for years. After this long break, the artist is experiencing how the recovered memory can play an important role in the balance of the body and mind.
She also had the chance to study ancient puppet theater in Palermo in 1997 with Mimmo Cuticchio, known for his experimental Cunto. It was there that Kastrati first studied contemporary shadow theater.
Memory is an aspect that has become more and more important for her recent research.
Kastrati's work blurs the boundaries between photography, video, drawing, installation, sculpture and shadow theater. Her work is mostly focused on the study of the human condition in its extreme state of emergency. Over the past decade, she has developed different projects that explore the relationship between image and memory. Her research in art has strong associations with the ancient art of shadow puppetry, while also referencing the roots of photography and cinema.
Kastrati's works have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows including the 53rd Venice Biennial "Krossing" in 2009; Museo Marino Marini (Firenze); Fondazione Carisbo, Bologna; Palazzo Barolo, Torino; Casa Masaccio "Double Bind", San Giovanni Valdarno (2011); Palazzo Rospigliosi, Roma (2010); Muslim Mulliqi Prize 2009 "Calling All the Stations" The Kosova Art Gallery, Pristina (2009); Museum of Modern Art, Ascona (Switzerland); Palazzo della Penna, Perugia (2006); Palazzo Farnese (Ortona), Italy, XXL Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria (2000); National Gallery of Figurative Arts of Albania, Tirana, "Onufri '99" (1999).
In 2003 she was invited by the curator Harald Szeemann to participate in one of his memorable exhibitions Blut & Honig – Zukunft ist am Balkan at Sammlung Essl in Klosterneuberg (Austria), and in the special event "The Balkans a Crossroad to the future" at Arte Fiera Bologna 2004.
- "Blood and Honey, Future's in the Balkans", Sammlung Essl, Art of the Present, "Blut & Honig, Kunst der Gegenwart". Exhibition catalogue (ISBN 3-902001-11-9)
- "Sound & Vision" Palazzo della Penna, Perugia, Bologna, Damiani Editore, 2006. – 268 p. 29 cm. Exhibition catalogue (ISBN 88-89431-55-5)
- "Double Bind" Casa Masaccio. Exhibition catalogue
- "The road to contemporary art, Mediterranean" Roma, Edition arte'm Napoli. Exhibition catalogue
- "The balcans, a crossroad to the future", Compositori IND. Grafiche Group, Arte Fiera Bologna Edition. Exhibition catalogue
- "Colours of Albania", Print Mali Pleshti Edition. Exhibition catalogue
- "We love Italy, Italy loves us", Giancarlo Politi Editor. Exhibition catalogue
- "Venice Biennale", Fare Mondi, Making Worlds, 53° Venice Biennale. Exhibition catalogue (ISBN 978-8831796965)
- "Terna Prize 01" for contemporary art, Silvana Edition
- "Beyond Materia – 53° Venice Biennale" DDN 161 Design Difusion News, pag. 152 (ISSN 1120-9720)
- Vénera Kastrati Official website
- Sammlung Essl archives "Blut & Honig – Zukunft ist am Balkan", 2003 (ISBN 3-902001-11-9)
- Teknemedia "The Balkans – A crossroad to the future" Arte Fiera Bologna 2004
- Flash Art "Tratto e ritratto" 2011
- Albania News "Vénera Kastrati – Biografia e una breve descrizione del lavoro artistico" 2009
- UnDo.Net exhibitions
- Shekulli, "Përmbysje në Brera", 2012
- Expoarte, Museo Marino Marini 2011
- Speciali di Kalporz "La Sinfonia delle Ombre", 2005
- Balcanicaucaso "Il mondo di Vénera", 2008
- Tecnemedia, Vénera Kastrati "The woman produces the man. The man will kill her", 2008
- UnDo.Net "53rd Venice Biennale" 2009
- Teknemedia, Palazzo Rospiliosi, Roma "Mediterranean" 2009
- Albanianews "Vénera Kastrati alla Biennale d'Arte dei Paesi del Mediterraneo – Alessandria", 2009
- Albanianews "Venera Kastrati – Quando la morte si converte in Arte", 2009
- Gazeta Shqip "Venera Kastrati, Kur vdekja kthehet në art", 2009
- Gazeta Shqip "Venera Kastrati, në Bienalen e Aleksandrisë" 2009
- Albanianews "La donna crea l’uomo. Lui la uccide", 2008
- Distretti Culturali "Vénera Kastrati, Sulla soglia di casa Monza Brianza"