Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo
58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia


Curator's statement by Vincent Honore:

"In a time of political uncertainty, post-truth and global migrant crisis, Alban Muja's work, Family Album, reminds us that behind the circulation of images, lie personal narratives. How can one re-appropriate a photograph that was widely shared and became an icon of tears and violence, and re-inform it with one’s own memories? How can a character in a photograph return to being a person again, to be imbued with emotions, stories and hopes? Alban Muja's project arrives 20 years after the end of the last European conflict of the 20th century which saw 90% of Kosovo’s population displaced. His work is a rigorous, subtle and respectful exploration of what an image is, what it means, and how it resonates.

With Family Album, we have made a conscientious decision not to show the source images but to focus instead on the present, on the voice of the individuals captured within these images, and on their relationship to the photographs in question. The work highlights the problematic economy surrounding the distribution and circulation of images, and the relationship between documentary and aesthetics. As such, Family Album seeks to humanise the three photographs, proposing a new investigation, both aesthetic and ethical into a profound collective trauma."