• Portrait of the painter, photo documentation, dim. 8.5 x 5.7cm, 1990 - 1999
Back to the future: Kader Pagarusha

Back to the future: Kader Pagarusha

Curatorial by Albert Heta
Curatorial assistance by Shelbatra Jashari

Opening: 4 September 2010, 20:00
4 September 2010 - 2 October 2010

Back to the future: Kader Pagarusha is the IV and it is the last part of the exhibitions program of the project Back to the future. But maybe there will be a sequel! Back to the future was launched in end of 2009 as an adventure and unique journey for us at Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina and the scene where we are based.

This is the end of a long project, which took Stacion and me in an interesting adventure of a past future. But it looks a begging of a future past.
Constructing the past is becoming a daily task in our new project of a country. I will not talk now about the effort of the erasing machinery that is demolishing buildings, removing signs from buildings that mark significant part of the history of the Antifascist Struggle in Kosova, changing names of remaining monuments or calling them with politically correct names before they are demolished, erasing memory of our cities and our history. What I want to point our more in this part of the project is the effort in making us forget that this country once had an economy, a society and a well constructed an structured social welfare system. This country, once part of Yugoslavia, since late 1960ies in the socio-political sphere had something that resembled more an emancipatory project called Brotherhood and Unity among nations and those who were seen a something less than nations, but not minorities. After a long struggle, in 1974 Kosova and Vojvodina gained an unique constitutional position in the Federation and their own central institutions that were no longer serving ambitions of others but now limiting the always present dominating power and colonizing ambitions of the strongest directed toward other parts of the Yugoslav Federation.

Investments in all part of life reached full speed and by the end of 1980 Kosova was build and took the shape of how it looked until 1989, when the unconstitutional abolishment of the constitutional position of Kosova and the military intervention launched by Serbia took the new shape of total occupation a step not challenged or confronted by other parts of then crumbling Federation.

The total occupation and re-colonization of Kosova by Serbia re-launched in 1998 appearing fully in the surface in 1989 and implemented until 1999, marked also the process the assassination of our social progress that was a threat not only for old colonizers.

But what was happening in 1989/1990 beyond my grand fathers front yard? To quote Boris Buden:

'Today we still naively underestimate the real dimension of the so-called fall of Communism. The revolutions of 1989/1990 in Eastern Europe haven't simply replaced a particular, historically bankrupt social(ist) system with a new democratic one. Rather they mark symbolically the end of society as such - the moment at which not only one historically particular social experiment but the entire human experimentation with the social reached its final end. This is what post-communism is actually about - a life not after socialism, but after society as such.

From 1986 until 1988 Kaderr Pagarusha was continuing his postgraduate studies at Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, the class of professor Hugo Heyrman

Kader Pagarusha was born in 1946 in Prizren, Kosova.
Since 1974 he lives and works in Brussels.
He finished The Secondary Art School in Peja (1961-1966).
He continued his education by graduating at the High Pedagogical School in Prishtina, Department of Visual Arts, class of professor Tahir Emra.
In the meantime, he worked as a designer at the Factory for Wallpapers 'Fazita' in Prishtina.

This factory and almost all other important carriers of economic growth and progress of Kosova today are inexistent. All of them, with few exceptions, faced the same grave destiny. After the majority of workers were laid off by the occupying Serb administration, after a General Strike launched on September 2nd 1990, their assets were looted and what was possible to transport taken away to Serbia.

After the liberation in 1999, this factory and others founded during socialism either as a base organization of unified work, self-management unity of interest or other self-management organizations were sold cheaply through a highly suspicious process of privatization.

From 1967 until 1969 Kaderr Pagarusha worked as a technical editor at the department for publishing of magazines and books at Publishing Printing and Sales Enterprise Rilindja.

Rilindja for The Albanian National Awakening or the National Renaissance or the National Revival was also the only newspaper in Albanian published in Yugoslavia until the late 1980ties. Established in Prizren in 1945, later moved to Prishtina and initially printed at the facilities of the Municipal Printing house of the People's Front in Prishtina.

Important for the selected books, translations and other publications that was editing for the Albanian speaking market in Yugoslavia and beyond, this was also the house where almost every important dissident journalist, intellectual, activist later turned politician was nourished or could find a sanctuary.

For my generation Rilindja is important also because in these bookshops in 1980ies you could purchase a Personal Computer. Amstrad 64K Microcomputer was introduced in this marked through the network of Rilindja Bookshops.

On September 5th 1990, the occupying Serb administration closed down Rilindja.

The case of the destruction and erasure of Rilindja (1990-2010) is another classical case of working to erase not only of the history but also the evidence.

In 1969 Kader Pagarusha moves to Brussels and from the end of 1969 until 1971 he continues his education in Hight Studies for Painting at Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Bruksel.

In 1971 he returns to Prishtina and continues to work at a technical editor at Rilindja.

In 1974 he returns to Brussels and continues his work in painting until 1982.

During this time he has several group exhibitions, including: Prix Breughel Bruksel 1975; Competition 'Louis Schmidt' Brussels 1981, House of Culture Woluwe Saint Pierre 1981 and a solo exhibition at the Belgium Consulate in Atlanta, USA (1979).

From 1986 until 1988 he continues his postgraduate studies at Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, the class of professor Hugo Heyrman

From 1990 until 1991 he works in Paris.

His work was shown frequently in Brussels including Cobra Gallery (1994, 1997 and 1999), Gallery D'Egmont (1984), Gallery Triangle (1984), Gallery Pacific (1975), Gallery Tetra - Wavre (1983) and Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp (1985).

Kader Pagarusha was awarded in 1980 with Prix de Peinture 'Andre Toetenel' and in1985 with 'Karel Verlaat Price'.
His works are part of collections in USA, Israel, Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Japan and Switzerland.

My question is how long can we keep our eyes open?
And why do I still have to stand on my own shoulders so that someone can hear me?

Albert Heta
August 2010

Back to the future: Kader Pagarusha is part of the project 'Back to the future' by Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina. 'Back to the future: Kaderr Pagarusha ' is supported by ARDA REI, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Republic of Kosova, Directorate for Culture, Youth and Sports of the Municipality of Prishtina, Kosova Foundation for Open Society, KTV, RrokumTV and DZG.