“He spoke, and immediately, as he commanded, the cattle, driven from the mountain, headed for the shore, where the great king’s daughter, E uropa , used to play together with the Tyrian virgins. Royalty and love do not sit well together, nor stay long in the same house. So the father and ruler of the gods, who is armed with the threeforkedlightning in his right hand, whose nod shakes the world, setting aside his royal sceptre, took on the shape of a bull, lowed among the other cattle, and, beautiful to look at, wandered in the tender grass.”
Ovidio, Metamorphoses, Book II, Jupiter’s abduction of Europa
Europa and the Bull takes the Greek myth as a starting point to reflect on geography and its representation, romanticism, materials as symbols, the fetish we have towards objects and images as well as human fascination with zoology.
Thinking of Kosovo, the youngest country in a hazy Europe, as a specific context of intervention, the show revisits the controverted story of the Phoenician princess Europa, abducted and loved by Zeus disguised in the form of a white bull. Can the present be made legible through the work of art? How, where, and for whom does territory rematerialize as condition? And what form does it take in the era that follows formal—politicojuridical—decolonization; a period that has witnessed a proliferation of nationstates swiftly followed by the deterritorialization (denationalization) of their currencies and markets?
In times of political uncertainty characterised by high mobility and displacement, geography and its linguistic origins become tools to understand further current political and social settings. The artists in this exhibition share an interest in symbolism, language, alchemy and transformation, juxtaposing personal and popular imagery to define identities in unstable contexts.