The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi

 

Kelly’s interest in the acquisition of language continues in The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi, where she considers its impact on assumptions about national or ethnic difference. The artist’s prose is based on a report in the Los Angeles Times about the separation of an infant from his Kosovo-Albanian family during the Balkan war in the 1990s. Too young for words to reveal his identity, the Serbian army found and renamed him; under NATO’s occupation he was renamed again; finally he was reunited with his family and his patronym. Four stanzas run continuously around the gallery walls––over 200 feet, the rhythmic waves of the accumulated lint echoing the tempo of the soprano, who sings Michael Nyman's original score for the exhibition at the opening events.

  The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi, 2001
Installation View, Santa Monica Museum of Art
Compressed lint
49 framed panels, 17 x 48 x 2 ins. each, overall length, 206 ft.
   
 
  Detail
Compressed lint
2 of 49 framed panels, 17 x 48 x 2 ins. each
   
 
  Close up Detail
Compressed lint
1 of 49 framed panels, 17 x 48 x 2 ins. overall length, 206 ft.
   
 
  Detail
Compressed lint
1 of 49 framed panels, 17 x 48 x 2 ins. overall length, 206 ft.
   
 
  Detail
Compressed lint
1 of 49 framed panels, 17 x 48 x 2 ins. overall length, 206 ft.
   
 
  The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi, 2001
Original score for the exhibition by Michael Nyman
Sarah Leonard, soprano and the Michael Nyman Quartet
Still, video documentation of live performance, Santa Monica Museum of Art.