“The most effective and emblematic artistic intervention”, Art Agenda on Stanislava Pinchuk

2 Aug 2022

Amidst political and social distress, the nomadic European Biennial Manifesta has positioned itself in the capital of Kosovo, Pristina, where creative mediator Catherine Nichols invited artists and practitioners to explore modes of storytelling across cultures. As a contested nation-state, Kosovo embodies many of the most pressing and complex issues facing society today.

In the streams by the central bridge of the Ibar river, past the multitudes of NATO peacekeeping forces, Ukrainian artist Stanislava Pinchuk has installed a skeletal deconstructed version of Bogdan Bogdanović’s 1973 Monument to Fallen Miners and is curated Petrit Abazi. Bogdanović’s monument is a massive temple-like portal erected at the top of a hill in the memory of those who fell in a revolt against the German occupation of the Trepča mines during WWII. Pinchuk’s metal sculptures span across the river, with bright yellow benches for travelers or the locals of the city to lighten tensions from either side of the borders.

Writer Cathryn Drake of Art Agenda comments, “Yet the most effective and emblematic artistic intervention may be Europe Without Monuments (2022) in Mitrovica, a contested city not far from Pristina, where the Ibër river divides the Serbian and Albanian communities to the north and south respectively.”

Pinchuk’s Europe Without Monuments is structured to abolish the notion of monuments of death and tragic events, instead rewrites contexts with a monument, encouraging playful interactions amongst visitors. As Cathryn writes, “I walked uphill just before sunset led by a brave little stray dog, who sauntered through the monument’s columns and continued down the other side into the trees while I took in the expansive view—and there was no sign of a division from up there.”

Europe Without Monuments is staged at Ibar river, Mitrovica until 22 September 2022 as part of the 14th European Nomadic Biennial, Manifesta.

Image: Stanislava Pinchuk, Europe Without Monuments, 2022, steel & zinc, textile, acrylic paint and wood | Photography by Marcello Maranzan