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Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) are qualitatively different from geographically close relationships. In those, partners can see each other face-to-face most days. The Long Distance Relationship exhibition is conceived in a geographic, political, cultural, historical, linguistic, and personal remoteness. It is the result of a series of exchanges, decisions, unforeseen events, and transitional conclusions that problematize the unknown and the togetherness, the filiation, and the disruption. How does distance transform our modes of communication, impacting the practical realities of collaboration? How does it fabricate and shift the perceptions, prejudices, fantasies, imaginations, memories, or stories we tell ourselves about others?

After a first occurrence in Pristina, the exhibition crystallizes a new moment of encounter and forms a temporary community of things, thoughts, and voices that communicate in a specific place. On this common ground, the distance becomes proximity.

For this exhibition, Driton Selmani produced two artworks dealing with identity and travel, folklore and irony. On one hand, floating like a ghostly presence, the flag Reality Check, which was once proudly standing in Pristina, delivers a distorted message. Between poetry, caustic humor, and brutal reality, it summons a wish to escape, to go to this fantasized and dreamlike country. On the other hand, the limited edition ZigZag represents an imaginary journey from Pristina to the providential Swiss mountains as Rodolphe Töpffer pictured them in 1844. By superposing sources, eras, and places, fiction, and facts, Driton Selmani creates a passport for uncertain states of being. The legal document became the spooky theater of political riots, including a protest held in Zurich in September 2018 against prices rising for flights to Pristina. Facts are replaced by the artist’s sharp sarcasm as he turns reality into a vast fantasy playground.

The exhibition is a testament to the power of art to bridge distances, to create connections, and to explore the complexities of human relationships across space and time. It invites viewers to reflect on their own experiences of distance and to consider how it shapes their understanding of themselves and others. Through the diverse works on display, the Long Distance Relationship exhibition offers a rich and thought-provoking exploration of the themes of distance, communication, and connection.

Long Distance Relationship has been an exhibition in the making. Waiting to be redefined in and by another context, to be transformed, translated transported elsewhere

Gabrielle Boder and Tadeo Kohan.
The first stage of the show has been presented in Motrat, Pristina, Kosovo
Curated with Yll Rugova and Fanny-Alma Serée
Exhibition Design: Trembelat, XK

October 12 – November 3, 2019

With the support of Fonds Culturel Sud, Pro Helvetia, La Loterie Romande and the Ambassade de Suisse au Kosovo / Embassy of Switzerland in Kosovo.