Alban Muja’s artistic position is in a way very specific since it reflects and comments contemporary society and its burdens but mostly in very specific geo – political context. In a way, his artworks are permeated with the bitterness of the geopolitical, social and artistic system, which is communicated by individual artistic acts – some ironic, some intimate, but always critical. One of the latest Alban Muja's works Brotherhood Phallicism is constructed in the same way, and it exposes the very specifics of a phenomenon that is omnipresent in Kosovar society. In its exaggerated form it is most visible in the countryside and non-urban areas. The work has many layers but firstly it poses the problem of male tradition and how it is manifested through the symbol of social status – a house. A house becomes a symbol for family and the basic unit of male pride which is visible outwards. This actually would not be so strange since that kind of phenomenon is also inherent to some other geographical territories, but in the case of Kosovo a house as a basic unit is cloned for every male individual in the family. In this way one house gets multiplied and what often remains is a chain of completely identical houses some of which are functionless or even worse – not inhabited from various reasons. The phenomenon shows the power of the male role in the family and a house becomes a phallic symbol which stresses the importance of the father figure. On the other hand, the work tries to pose the role of the woman figure, who is completely excluded in the society. The phenomenon is not new and it is present in the society through many generations, but now in the time of turbo capitalism the “brotherhoods” are expanding behind every corner and the phenomenon is in a full swing. For Alban Muja, this phenomenon was an excellent platform for s research stretching for a longer period of time and it is not yet finished. Even though brotherhoods are something very natural in Kosovar society, Alban considers them as a “foreign body” which is also visible if one approaches the work in the context of aesthetics – brotherhoods rarely fit in the environment because of their unusual exteriors. Beside the process of visually documenting this phenomenon across the country, Alban Muja also collects stories of people who are involved in “brotherhood” processes in a direct or indirect way. That is why Alban Muja's latest work Brotherhood (paintings, photos and an installation) simultaneously becomes record of time and space, and direct process of requisitioning the social values.

Tevž Logar

Alban Muja is visual artist and filmmaker, born in Kosovska Mitrovica (1980), Kosovo. His works cover a wide range of media including video installations, short films, documentary films, drawings, paintings and photography. They have been exhibited extensively in international exhibitions, in festivals and numerous one man shows. Alban Muja lives and works in Prishtina, Kosovo.