HARABEL Contemporary Art Platform organised a Talk with curator Edi Muka, within the Project Manifesta 14 for the Western Balkans co-financed by the European Union. The event took place on February 2, 2022.


Edi Muka’s Talk focused on the Public Art Agency Sweden, a central institution supported by the country’s Ministry of Culture that researches and interacts between contemporary art and public space. This rare institution, not very common throughout the world, focuses on a series of activities that include all forms of contemporary art that are manifested in public space. Their motto is based on the belief that art has a very important role in society and should be accessible to all.

The Public Art Agency was founded in 1937, at a time when the Swedish model of well-being was evolving and growing rapidly, while today it is in a new phase of change focusing on the artist’s role in society and the public. The task of this institution is to turn the work of art into a natural element and to make it significant in the social environment by giving numerous opportunities to artists through the orders and the purchase of quality art. The Agency’s collection contains over 100,000 works of art, while during a normal year they buy from 150 to 200 works of art. Their aim is to support artists in order for their works to reflect on different themes of art in the present time.

Muka also focused on the levels related to the projects which are listed starting from: the highest level, which has to do with the selection of projects inside and around the buildings, continuing with the next level that has to do with with the urban development process projects for which the Agency is responsible for public space in these projects. This also includes temporary projects which operate through performances, artistic interventions or installations and exhibitions in public space. The Public Space Art Agency also deals with the ongoing creation and treatment of the art collection and advising on its maintenance and heritage in the public space.

The curator illustrated these levels with images of the projects that were accomplished for the public space. Some of the works he mentioned were: Katherina Grosse, Blue Orange Vara, 2012; Lea Porsager, Gravitational Riplles, Southeast Asia, 2004; Sandi Hilal, Art Happens Prastholmen, Boden. Muka also presented some temporary projects: Mount Arnell and Asa Elzen, Forest Calling; Jonas Staal, Interplanetary Species Society, a project curated by Edi Muka. The curator also explained the whole process in relation to the artist, his work and then the space of its placement in public spaces.

In the end, a conversation took place with the participants. Their interest was focused on the maintenance of public works, the role of the institution in relation to the public, the communication that is established in relation to the public, as well as how much the Agency influences the public work.

*Edi Muka (born in 1969) is a Swedish-based Albanian curator and writer. He’s known for introducing the curatorial practices for the first time in Albania, as well as for his contribution to the Albanian contemporary art and culture scene. Along the years, Muka has worked for or led many institutions. He’s been adjunct professor at the AFA Tirana, director of the International Center of Culture, curator of the National Gallery Tirana, co-founder and director of the Tirana Biennial and of Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art, curator of Röda Sten Art Center, artistic director of Gothenburg Biennial, etc. Muka has curated numerous exhibitions and projects, among others the first Albanian Pavilion in Venice Biennale, the Gothenburg Biennale, the Medellin Quadrennial. Since 2014, Muka is a curator at the Public Art Agency Sweden. His work is of international scope and builds on a close relationship with the artists.