Turin. All the essence of Kosovo in the haystacks by Lala Meredith-Vula

Directly from dOCUMENTA14, the photographer launched by Damien Hirst tells the mythical and rural past of the Balkans before and after the war.

Haystacks, Lala Meredith-Vula, 1989-in corso.

“The context of a work of art plays a major part on where it is placed. It took my returning home to discover the real significance of my search”. Thus spoke Lala Meredith-Vula, English and Albanian Kosovian artist and photographer, to introduce her “Haystacks” series (1989-ongoing) now on show at the Alberto Peola Gallery in Turin after its exhibition at dOCUMENTA14. 

Haystacks, Lala Meredith-Vula, 1989-ongoing
Lala Meredith-Vula, Haystacks (1989-ongoing), curated by Monika Szewczyk, a courtesy of Alberto Peola Arte Contemporanea

Haystacks are medium-large sized black and white photographs that the artist has taken in Kosovo’s countryside since 1989 in order to reconnect herself with her hometown and reconcile her provincial past, the call of the land, with the most contemporary artistic trends. She was in fact one of the Young British Artists hosted by Damien Hirst in his famous Freeze exhibition in 1988.

After graduating from Goldsmith College, Meredith-Vula returned to her father, who was an architect in Priština, in order to document vernacular structures and housing forms before Balkan war’s political geography. The result is a docu-photography project that is all focused on the archetypal figure of the haystack, already subject of artists such as Henry Fox Talbot, Monet, Van Gogh and other impressionists.

“In the fields of my former hometown I witnessed a way of life as old as the land itself. And I saw that somehow the farmers were unconsciously creating strange sculptures that had the presence of modern sculptural pieces. My search was over. I had found the meeting place between my new world of art and my past, in the landscape of Kosovo”, continues Meredith-Vula. Each photograph corresponds to a haystack, an animated character suspended in time – hence the choice of black and white – that seems to tell mythical and distant times. Before the war, feuds, ethnic cleansing and human violence.

Select Haystacks (1989-ongoing)
Monika Szewczyk
Alberto Peola Gallery
Beppe Giardino
via Della Rocca, 29, Turin
Opening dates:
from November 3 to December 22, 2018
Opening hours:
tue-sat, from 3 to 7 pm. Mornings by appointment.

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