|Edi on Fri, 9 Jul 1999 14:49:49 +0200|
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|Syndicate: albania today in berlin|
albanian artists in berlin at House am Lutzowplatz. the show is organized by House am Lutzowplatz and curated by Edi Muka. Â Â ALBANIA TODAY (concept) The face of the new millennium is still vague and unclear. Signs of future developments have already shown in electronic expansion and communication highways, promising "new, radical" trends. Even though many things have still to define and after a while now, not much seems to have changed. The likeness with the technological revolution of the beginning of the century, historically shows that it is neither mechanical reproduction, nor computer systems that can make the change, since both are conditioned and developed within the same frame: that of Capitalism. The art of technologically developed power centers of the end of this century seems to have nothing to do with geopolitics, at least with the non-virtual one. But in the wider view of art and culture, this is not the case. The revealing of "new" zones, which in a politically correct term I must call "marginal, or peripheral cultures", is bringing up clear evidence of what is different, or of what it is like to be part of these cultures, which politically correct or not, are defined only through geopolitics. It is obvious therefore that I refer to the Albanian case. Albania seems bound to existing as a no manâ??s land, a place on the border, a site of migration: shelter for the refuges from Kosova and point of no return for the escape towards the Western myth. While the whole world talks about globalization, global and glocal villages and new nationalism, Albania faces every day the wounds of nomadism and deterioration, experiencing the real meaning and pain of new criticism buzzwords. Albania lives the tragedy of distance: its citizens are close to everything and everyone (NATO, UN, Italy, the Eastâ?¦), yet they are forced to leave their homeland, and rely only on the image of a future which never happens. Escape or hope: these are the ways to picture a better tomorrow. This precarious equilibrium, this hybrid mix of feelings, of hope and frustration, produce a cynical optimism, which permeates most of the national culture and art. Albanian artists are walking a tightrope stretched between tragedy and comedy, ironic adherence to the brutality of daily life. Reflecting the tragedy of the present, while trying to escape from it: this is the meaning of Albanian ironic optimism, which seems to be the only way out of the anxiety of history. Being an artist in Albania means coming to terms with utopia, with an image of the future: nonetheless Albanian artists refuse the myth of progress (which was central to the aesthetics of Social Realism). They have learned to corrode the surface of utopia with the acid of irony and nonsense. All the artists in this exhibition respond to this sensibility, each one according to his or her personal strategy: having experienced Diaspora and the fall of political and social powers, Albania could never go back to a unitary movement. Itâ??s in the variety of media, of stylistic and emotional tones that dwells the richness of Albanian art in the context of the art world. This exhibition does not promote a movement, nor a generational manifesto: it aspires to show the variety and fragmentation of a situation which is still moving and defying unity, thanks to the combination of autobiography and violence, hyperstyilsm and infantilism. It doesnâ??t really matter if we donâ??t form a group, a solid coalition: after the fall of walls and ideologies, Albania has learnt not to trust unity and systems. We prefer to walk along interrupted paths, accepting heterogeneity and diversity as the only reliable truth. Albanian art doesnâ??t provide a thesis, for it works on hypotheses of subjectivity and diversity, which defies the stereotypes of a new art from a "marginal and peripheral culture" as the curators from the global market like to put it. Albanian artists have turned fragmentation and heterogeneity into a form of strength and subversion. They live on strategies as precarious as our situation in the face of history. Â Edi Muka. Â "albania today" is a show composed of 7 albanian contemporary artists which shall open the 18th of July in House am Lutzowplatz in Berlin. the artists and the works selected for the show are based on the group that compounded the show with the same title in the albanian pavilion in 48th Venice Biennale. the artists participating are: 1. Anri Sala with the video film "Intervista - Finding the Words". the film is about a woman (artists mother) that left bnehind the years, the events, the births, the joys, the aches, the optimism, the faith, the fear, the information, theold papes, the Communism, the frustrations..and even an interview, a dumb interview, her lost years told in two fragments of film. the artist finds it bizarre in getting his mother's voice back from a school of dumbs. twenty years later, his mother has to face her words pronounced at the time. what would she say today? 2. Alban Hajdini. the human body parts that the artist shuts in military boxes provoke deep emotions and anxiety. references to the extreme social developments in albania are very clear and direct in this pece. one has to appreciate the details of the installtion both in the body parts, where the reality can be chilling, and in the well curated photographs of decorative objects, as in the frames full of roses.. 3. Edi Hila. a social theme of anxiety is always present in his works; the series exhibited here is called "the catwalk of tragic portraits". it focuses on that moment where the drama of man and his crime are here to speak. this symbolism, this "dress" has changed the man's silouhette, enriching at the same time "the catwalk" of history with a new cut. 4. Besnik and Flutura Haxhillari. they come in this show with their on going project "The Gullivers". the project referes to an actual theme of the territory, the migration. exploring the dimension of the artist as nomad mingled with the immigrant, the artists exhibit a series of colour photographs and execute two performances called "Gullivers marriage" and "voyague fragile". 5. Klodi Agostini. is a young albanian artist that explores the personal dimension and its transformation. the artist exhibits a series of paintings with the above theme. 6. Lala Meredith-Vula. an excellent photographer, she exhibits part of her series "Bathers".the place itself is magical: a vast steamy echoing chamber, walls a palimpsest of streaked and cracking plaster, dripping with condensation, fitfully illuminated by shafts of light falling from openings high in the dome above. the artist notes: "for these women the baths offer not only a practical means of keeping clean, but also a temporary refuge". the venue of the show is July 18th from 11 - 15.00. the exhibit shall stay until August 28th, participating thus in the "Long night of the museums".