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.
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 
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.
Edi Muka.
"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 
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 
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 
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 
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".