Collection: Juna Skënderi- Textile Art

"Zemra Ime" - Show Opening Friday March 1st, 2024 5-8 PM

Juna Skënderi is an Albanian-born artist and filmmaker. She has spent the majority of her life as an undocumented American, having recently relocated to Santa Fe from New York City. Using textile, found objects, mixed media, and through video and performance, she aims to capture the alienation and devastating nostalgia of the immigrant experience in her work.

She is currently working on a series of experimental documentaries based on her childhood home videos, including the live, experimental documentary 'The Gravity Experiment’, which received funding support from the Queens Council on the Arts in 2020. Her work has been shown at Ps122 Gallery, Ed Varie, The Border Project Space, Accent Sisters, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and TheaterLab.


Artist Statement:

Methodically, meditatively, obsessively, carefully, and at times carelessly, I weave, sew, knot, paint, decorate. In a way, I track time as a way to grasp reality and circumstance: to have some sort of proof that I (and perhaps we) are surviving something.

I gravitate towards slow, meditative processes because of their thoughtful opportunity. The meditative choices along the way are what I search for in my art practice. There is a historical quality to embroidery, sewing, and weaving by hand that is of an earlier era. The feminine ancestry, and history of labor (specifically immigrant labor) are important reminders of my own history and its alignment with the world I inhabit.

Textiles have been a part of my life since before I was born. Clothing, curtains, table cloths, and even diapers were lovingly handmade by the women in my family. As a child, I fell in love with the power to create something so beautiful that can be worn, held, given, or be useful in some way.

More than anything, textiles are a love language for me. “Zemra Ime”, a commonly used Albanian phrase meaning “my heart”, expresses deep love in a possessive, personal, vulnerable, and exposed way. Albanian love is visceral, often expressed in this format: my (insert body part or cute animal here). For me, this has meaning beyond ruminating on the complexities of home and where the heart lies, but what we choose to make with our bodies and how we spend our time.