Sislej Xhafa is known for his artistic investigation into the social, economical and political realities associated with the various complexities of modern society. His investigations, for example, into phenomena of tourism or forced illegality use a minimal language and they are at the same time ironic and subversive, practicing indifferently a wide range of media, from sculpture to drawing, from performance to photography.
“Reality is stronger than art. As an artist I do not want to reflect a reality, but I do want to question it. My social upbringing does not embrace, rational linear actions. I approach the world and life with primal instinctive behaviour”.
The social results of economic theories, and on the whole the conceptual outcome that derives from their complex relations, have been for years at the heart of Sislej Xhafa’s artistic research, that questions the legal status of his country of origin, Kosovo, presenting himself as the Clandestine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; or in the shoes of a broker who does not sell shares but buys and sells the departures and arrivals of trains in the performance “Stock Exchange”.
In a square in Torino, he sets up a temporary job centre which in reality is a sort of stage set; in New York, he reflects on the concept of security and stability, and in Manhattan he gets a truck of the 1950s full of young lawyers to go up the main road as they recite aloud the page of the yellow pages under the entry “Lawyers”. “It’s a politics of interruption, upsetting the configuration of forces determining what is visible and what is not, what forms of speech are understood as discourse and which are only perceptible as noise, who is designated as a speaking subject and who is merely spoken to”.