Petrit Halilaj: Very Volcanic Over This Green Feather Exhibition Book

Yayınevi: Tate Publishing

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This book has been published to accompany Petrit Halilaj’s 2021–2 exhibition Very volcanic over this green feather at Tate St Ives. It features texts, archival materials and images related to Halilaj’s installation, which departs from a series of drawings he made as a thirteen year old during the Kosovo War.

In 1999, Petrit Halilaj made thirty-eight drawings while living in a refugee camp in Albania during the Kosovo War (1998–9). The Tate St Ives exhibition, Halilaj’s first solo museum show in the UK, stemmed from these drawings; it is perhaps his most personal reflection to date on his experiences of war.

In the monumental installation, Halilaj reconstituted elements of his original drawings in new formations, altering their material, scale and relationships to one another; in essence, it was an act of rearranging and taking control of fragments of memory that mirrors a personal and collective trauma that for Halilaj remains unfinished. While distinctive in its form, Very volcanic over this green feather is connected with a personal visual language that Halilaj has developed through a variety of media including sculpture, video, drawing and text, as well as traditional fabrics and materials.

The installation and this book reflect a process of research and analysis that included extensive conversations between Halilaj and Giacomo Poli, the psychologist who had originally encouraged Halilaj and other children to make drawings in the Kukës II refugee camp in Albania more than twenty years earlier. Efforts were also made to track down specific news articles, photographs and media footage, including coverage of Halilaj meeting former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan during his visit to Kukës in 1999. These materials situate Halilaj’s own memories within a larger socio-political context.

With writing from Giacomo Poli, Amy Zion, Thomas Keenan, Anne Barlow and Petrit Halilaj himself, this book is a fascinating record of an extraordinary exhibition.


  •  215 x 300 x 26.7mm | 398g