Driton Selmani — One Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-Nine I

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Work No. 13498, (1999)
Crayon pencils on paper
35 x 43 cm each

Playing with the restoration of the archive, as well as with the blindness of time in the past, the drawings are the preserved evidence of my stay as a 12-year-old child in the Neprostino refugee camp in N.Macedonia. Together with the teacher, O. Mejzinolli, I and many other children preserved on paper
what we had experienced. The project was developed unconsciously. Seen from the perspective of the present, the sketches appear like beams of light entering the memory, recovering more and more new objects from the darkness itself. Neither I nor the other children in the camp were asked to make these drawings. We simply seized the opportunity to express what we had seen and experienced, breathing life into an existence that a certain disregard for 'a moment' can ignite and impact the true state of things. The ray of light has traveled from that day to this place and will continue...

Note: Unearthed in 2020 from the ceiling of my parents' aged abode after a two-decade interval, these drawings constitute the inaugural segment of the triptych: One Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety-Nine, instigating the genesis of its two ensuing components.