ISCP Talk
March 16, 2021

Alban Muja, Kari Conte and Dr. Ksenia Nouril discuss Family Album

In conjunction with Alban Muja’s first solo exhibition in the United States, Family Album, ISCP presents a virtual talk on Zoom with artist Alban Muja, exhibition curator Kari Conte, and the Jensen Bryan Curator at The Print Center, Philadelphia, Dr. Ksenia Nouril.

The three will discuss the artist’s work, which traces the stories of several children living in Kosovo during the time of the Kosovo War in 1998 and 1999. Muja’s Family Album considers the aftermath of collective trauma and pain and how it is processed and passed on to younger generations. The work also lays bare the limits and failings of the media by uncovering the stories and complexities behind images that were exploited and thus rendered one-dimensional to the viewer.

Opening remarks will be made by Ambassador Frymëzim Isufaj of the Consulate General of the Republic of Kosovo in New York.

  • Date and Time: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 1–2pm EST
  • Location: Register here for the Zoom session. This event will be recorded.

Alban Muja lives and works in Pristina and Berlin. His work takes the form of video installation, short films and documentaries, drawing, painting, and performance and is largely influenced by the ongoing processes of social, political and economic transformation in his native Kosovo and across the wider region of the Balkans. Through his practice, he investigates history and sociopolitical themes, and links them to his life in Kosovo today.

Kari Conte is a curator and writer focused on global contemporary art. She is a 2020-21 Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Istanbul. From 2010-20 she held the position of Director of Programs and Exhibitions at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York, where she is currently Senior Advisor.

Dr. Ksenia Nouril is the Jensen Bryan Curator at The Print Center in Philadelphia and a specialist in global contemporary art. She has organized exhibitions at the Bruce Museum, Greenwich; Lower East Side Printshop, New York; MoMA, New York; and Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. She lectures widely and frequently writes for international exhibition catalogues, magazines, and academic journals.

This program is supported by The Consulate General of the Republic of Kosovo in New York; Hartfield Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust; Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; Teiger Foundation; VIA Art Fund; Willem de Kooning Foundation; and William Talbott Hillman Foundation. 

Participating Residents

ISCP Talk
February 16, 2021, 4-5pm

Artists at Work with Tommy Kha on Instagram Live: Return to Sender

For this Artists at Work, resident Tommy Kha will screen a selection of his life-long project, Return to Sender. Since 2010, he has invited friends, strangers, actors, and ex-lovers to kiss him while not returning it. Through collaboration, Kha allows kissers to direct themselves and control their images in these short-lived performances. 

Through the framework of the self portrait and the family album, the artist looks at the relationship between performance and photography, and how the camera has influenced the way othered bodies have been imaged and perceived. As Susan Sontag put it, “Essentially the camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.” Kha is interested in post-immigration experiences and snapshots left out of the family album, often utilizing humor to approach themes of racial identity, sexuality, and representation. 

Tune into the Instagram Live here on Tuesday, February 16 from 4-5pm EST.

The screening will last for seven minutes followed by a conversation between the artist and Arts Residency Manager Alison Kuo. 

Tommy Kha has exhibited work at Blue Sky Gallery, Portland; International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion, Hyères, France; Baxter Street at Camera Club of New York, among others, and his photographs have appeared in the New Yorker magazine. He has just been named a Foam Magazine Talent of 2021. 

This program is supported, in part, by Celebrate the Studio; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust; Hartfield Foundation; Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and VIA Art Fund. 

4-5pm

Participating Residents

Exhibition
Through July 13

Alban Muja: Family Album

The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) announces Alban Muja: Family Album, the first solo exhibition in the United States by Kosovar artist Alban Muja.

A 2011 ISCP alumnus, Muja’s exhibition restages his 2019 exhibition Family Album, originally shown in the Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo at the Venice Biennale. A conversation between Alban Muja, Ksenia Nouril, and Kari Conte will take place on March 16 at 1pm EST, introduced by Ambassador Frymëzim Isufaj of The Consulate General of the Republic of Kosovo in New York.

Alban Muja: Family Album features a three-channel documentary video installation which traces the stories of several children living in Kosovo during the time of the Kosovo War in 1998 and 1999. As the war progressed, nearly 800,000 citizens were forced to flee their homes for safety in neighboring countries, including a teenaged Muja. Images of these refugees—many of them children—were captured by photojournalists. The starting point of Family Album is a photograph that Muja found of himself with José María Aznar, Spain’s Prime Minister at the time, in a Spanish-run refugee camp in Albania where Muja was living with his family. This led him to think about other refugee children from the war who were represented in the media, and so he tracked down the now-adults from some of the most well-known images of children from the war. Family Album pivots around interviews with four of these former Kosovar refugee children, bringing visibility to their experiences and memories, while building upon the narratives handed down to them.

Alban Muja lives and works in Pristina and Berlin. His work takes the form of video installation, short films and documentaries, drawing, painting, and performance and is largely influenced by the ongoing processes of social, political and economic transformation in his native Kosovo and across the wider region of the Balkans. Through his practice, he investigates history and sociopolitical themes, and links them to his life in Kosovo today.

This exhibition is supported by Consulate General of the Republic of Kosovo in New York; Hartfield Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust; Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; VIA Art Fund; and William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

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Open Hours: By appointment on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 12-5pm.
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