Sislej Xhafa has furnished the waiting room of a police station in Gent like a grand palace. He presented a clandestine Albanian pavilion at the Venice Biennale and has used the Ljubljana trains tation as if it were a stock exchange selling wishes and hopes to people instead of shares.
Sislej Xhafa was born in 1970 at Pejë (Kosova). When he was 20 years old, he left his home country to move to London and later Italy. His artistic education took place in Italy where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. The last fifteen years he has lived in New York, a place which he chose “for its contradictions and its uncertainties”. Xhafa has exhibited in leading contemporary art museums around the world, including: Kanazawa, Toronto, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Roma, Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona,
Paris and New York. He has participated in the Venice biennial (1997, 1999, 2005, 2013), Istanbul biennial (2001), Gwanju biennial (2002) and Havana biennial (2009). Among the awards he has received is the Premio Querini Stampalia – Furla for young Italian
art in 2000.
The show BENVENUTO! SISLEJ XHAFA is on view at MAXXI Rome from 2 June – 2 October 2016.