SI is delighted to share I keep catching a glimpse of myself, hiding while you stare at me,a series of masks made by artist and poet Dardan Zhegrova during his residency here in New York, which began in February 2020 and concludes this week. Zhegrova, who lives and works in Prishtina, Kosovo, draws from childhood experiences in his local theatre community, which served as an oasis of Albanian customs and culture against the backdrop of the violent upheavals in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. As such, role play and character development largely figure into Zhegrova’s practice, which melds drawing, puppetry, autofiction and performance. In an ongoing, episodic series of performances entitled Lucky Pierre, Zhegrova himself appears as the title character, delivering ruminations on romantic desire while his face is obscured behind a mask complete with oversized eyes and a heart-shaped mouth. Seen here is a new collection of masks made by Zhegrova during his Balkan Projects Residency, much of which was unexpectedly spent in quarantine. Emotive, fantastical, and often playful, Zhegrova’s totem-like masks are expressions of love, longing and transformation. To learn more about Zhegrova’s work, please click here.
All images: Dardan Zhegrova, I keep catching a glimpse of myself, hiding while you stare at me, 2020-ongoing. Courtesy of the artist.