Tringa Gashi

1996, The School of Media Arts Skolen for Mediekunst

Common Desire (2024)
Video, sound 10:18 min.
Femra (2024)
Screen print, framed, 59,4 x 84,1 cm.

Often working in photography, performance, sculpture, and film, Tringa Gashi’s practice is centered around the ways geopolitical economic development affects dreams, habits, and needs within a society. Turning her attention to post-war aesthetics and the emerging economy of Kosovo, Gashi’s film Common Desire explores what it is that drives people’s pursuit for material status as well as how a population’s desires are materialized within a free market economy. The film is a delirious portrait of the rapidly-changing socio-economic environment of Kosovo, observing several different small businesses and shops in Prizren, and how they generate dreamlike images of prosperity and social-mobility within the “youngest country in Europe”.

With a background in theater and performance, Gashi is interested in the relation between audience and subject and the movements of daily life, investigating how our actions and relations are choreographed within social reality and how innate human desires are instrumentalized within larger structures. Common Desire choreographs our view through disorienting quick pans and hypnotic close-ups of storefronts, commodities, displays, advertisements, and social rituals. Sequences show a cinema and a video advertisement with consumers interrupting the image when bypassing in a shopping mall, demonstrating how contemporary capitalism exploits perception with the spectacle of public viewership. Enchanting us with shine and ostentatious presentation, and inundating us with images of wealth, style, and cosmopolitan identity. A central location in the work is a ‘bootleg’ perfume shop where scents ‘inspired’ by high-end fragrance brands replicate certain visual and material ‘high-end’ standards. In the film, we get a close-up of different scenarios taking place in the shop: their methodical minimalist displays, a hand pointing on a list of perfumes on the counter, a perfume sample being sprayed onto a customer’s wrist. As a menu from the store, enlarged and presented alongside the video, suggests, the “smell-alike” fragrances project value and prestige by proxy. By connecting their scents to branded products, they incorporate the original’s image of affluence and class, as well as its logic and language of desire, gender identity, and fantasy. Indeed, perfumes are a form of abstraction, a mist of value sprayed onto the self, an image worn by the body.

Teasing the senses, Gashi brings together the olfactory imagination, cinematic spectacle, and commodity fetishism to explore how people’s ‘dreams of the future’, and struggles with class and sense of self under capitalist development are constructed through modes of affect and abstract meaning making. The film is co-directed by artist Andita Shabanaj.

Text written by Post Brothers, 2024



Directed by Tringa Gashi, co directed by Andita Shabanaj, camera and editing Tringa Gashi and Andita Shabanaj, original music score Aase Nielsen, colorist Eliott Becheau, documentation David Stjernholm

Performers Aida Berisha / Sahar Jamili / Janna Aldaraji / Damai Syarifuddin / Hannah Wagner Höegh / Marie Vedel

With Special Thanks to Tamar Guimarães, Jane Jin Kaisen, Vladimir Tómic, Lars Kristensen, Dokufest, Benjamin Savi and Mark Emil Poulsen