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Contemporary Art Institute, EXIT, Peja
While the activities of EXIT precede its legal founding, the majority of this organisation’s work begins in the Summer of 1999 after NATO’s arrival in Kosovo. EXIT was founded by artists as a direct result of the lack of curators and cultural managers in Kosovo and the needs for artists to create and establish new and healthy relations with the outside world as well as offering different artistic models as alternatives to the already existing ones.
Founders and leaders of EXIT are Sokol Beqiri (Executive Director) and Erzen Shkololli (Artistic Director), both artists from Peja. EXIT strongly believes that openness and democratisation of Kosovo and the possibility for regular dialogue and discourse in a stimulating environment will support this artistic momentum and vice versa. EXIT began its work full of enthusiasm creating structures for the existing energy, constantly bearing in mind the situation in global politics, especially concerning contemporary art, and continuing to search its position according to the new situation in the region.
During the past few years, EXIT was engaged in promoting and organising various events on socio-cultural theory, critical thinking, aesthetics as well as visual contemporary arts.
Furthermore, EXIT was the host and organiser of various curators’ visits in Kosovo such as Harald Szeemann, Dunja Blažević, Susann Wintsch, Edi Muka, Petra Bishop (Pro Helvetia) a.o. from 2000–2003. EXIT organised a project with the IRWIN group from Slovenia. This project was organised with the cooperation of Kosovo Protection Corps (TMK) in Prishtina, 2002.
EXIT organises meetings, presentations, consultations as well as workshops with young Kosovar artists and students on a regular basis.
EXIT until today has maintained contacts with various people and institutions in contemporary visual arts, especially from Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, Germany, US and France.
In the premises of EXIT in Priština, the courses and seminars of the “education“ module as part of the project “Missing Identity” take place. The EXIT gallery in Peja hosts exhibitions by international artists and curators, also in the framework of the “Missing Identity” project.