2012 - 2016
Publiisher MIZA Galeri Project coordinator Blerta Hocia Olson Lamaj Remijon Pronja Endri Dani Communication coordinator Blerta Hocia Translation Tea Çuni Bijona Troce Sofia Kalo Erika Haxhi Press Run 500 copies Illustrations Olson Lamaj
© MIZA Galeri
November 2016 Tirana - Albania
Acknowledgments Sidi Kanani, Gezim Qëndro, Anila Shapalaku, Agron Mesi, Heldi Pema, Toni Milaqi, Koli Verçani, Klodian Deda, Adi Haxhiaj, Andi Tepelena, Astrit Cani, Mladen Vusuroviç, Pamela Cohn, Aldi Zgjani, Iva Lulashi, Dritan Hyska, Eltjon Valle, Rudina Hoxhaj, Lek M. Gjeloshi, Alban Muja, Ergys Zhabjaku, Alban Hajdinaj, Driant Zeneli, Claudio Cravero, Edison Çeraj, Ledia Kostandini, Eriola Pira, Irgin Sena, Ergin Zaloshnja, Pleurad Xhafa, Blerdi Fatusha, Sofia Kalo, Adrian Paci, Rafet Jonuzi, Koja, Ilir Kaso, Adela Jušić, Nardina Zubanović, Ana Frangovska, Beskida Kraja, Romeo Kodra, Ivi Topp, Enkelejd Zonja, Alban Nimani, Rubin Beqo, Marsida Gjoncaj, Tea Çuni, Iva Lulashi, Bijona Troqe, Stefano Romano, Francis Coraboeuf, Valentina Koca, Silva Agostini, Lumturi Blloshmi, Edi Hila, Roberto Berna, Armela Xhafa, Elsa Demo, Fjodora Fjora, Wendy Morava, Alda bardhyli, Shkelzen Maliqi, Roland Siegwald, Josephine Heide, Arba Bekteshi, Annika Hirsekorn, Edson Luli, Vitmar Qinani, Erika Haxhi.
12 – 21 MIZA INTERVIEW
22 – 79 EXHIBITIONS
80 – 93 COLLABORATIONS
94 – 99 WORKSHOP
100 – 105 CONFERENCE & PRESENTATIONS
Miza is a Tirana based, non-for-profit, non-governmental organisation working in the field of culture and contemporary art since its inception in november 2012. It was created by three young artists sharing the common concern regarding the lack of exposing spaces for emerging artists. Through our activities we have identified, attracted and supported national and international emerging artists and have created a platform for cultural exchange. Our organisation aims to further consolidate this platform. Miza focuses mainly on contemporary art and it aims to exhibit works of different genres engaging in the contemporary arts approaches, trends and concerns. Apart from exhibitions, Miza organises workshops, artist-talks, documentary screenings etc. Miza operate as a self-financed artistic space, with the co-founders bearing all the costs of the activities.
Miza’s space 2012 - 2014
Miza’s space 2015 - 2016
INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE CO-FOUNDERS OF MIZA
(B.H) Blerta Hocia
(O.L) Olson Lamaj
(R.P) Remijon Pronja
(E.D) Endri Dani
Photos realized during the period October 4 - November 7, 2017, for the opening of the call for applications DV Lottery - American Visa Service.
Strict implementation of parameters for photography: - Correct Head Size - Correct Head Position - Correct Orientation - No Glare on Glasses - Hight Quality: No Visible Dot Pattern - Correct Brightness - Correct Pose - Natural Color - Background Uniformly Illuminated
B.H How was the artistic atmosphere in Tirana before Miza was founded? What were you doing? Tell me something more about those times. O.L Before Miza was founded, I was the winner of an ICP residence in New York City where everything was so inspiring: the talks, life in New York City where I saw how this art spaces worked there and this is when I started thinking what to do in Tirana. I was totally amazed by the galleries area, ateliers and impressed by their simplicity far from pompous galleries in Italy, where I had studied before. The areas of New York I got to know better such as Brooklyn and the galleries quarter made me fancy about something similar I could do in Tirana. By that time, our capital did not offer many similar spaces, the artist scene was poor. There were actually some spaces such as TICA having exhibitions time to time, Zeta Galeri, the only gallery offering monthly events or Tirana Art Lab which did not own a proper space and Tirana Express, unfortunately a short term initiative. These were reasons that moved me to start talking with my friends and open a similar space. I knew I could not make it alone. We came together with the desire to change things, to continue dealing with art in Albania, to engage with things we wanted to do.
R.P The period before Miza for me was somehow different from Endri’s and Olson’s. I was back from Italy for a year by that time and did not know what was happening in the Albanian art scene. I had heard about an interesting event which was Tirana Biennale with other side events organized. I remember about coming here, meeting Olson who introduced to the situation, took me to some places such as FAB Gallery. By that time, we want to have the first “Andata-Ritorno” exhibition and Tirana Express was the only left interactive space. O. L Was it founded before Miza? B.H Yes O. L So, when did we found Miza? R.P It was November, 3 - 2012. E.D Today is November 3. R.P November 3 we founded Miza and payed the first rent. The first exhibition was on November, 26, Sidi Kanani’s solo. B.H At this point, I think it is very important to draw a panorama of the situation in Tirana of that time considering the different spaces and what would be really important to me, is to know something more about the first period as I joined two years later.
R.P To tell you the truth, by that time I was not much involved in art scene in Albania. I was still getting to know it and from what I could hear from chit-chats is that it is impossible to have anything done, that there was no money, that nothing was really worth doing. When we came together with the idea of the gallery, we were thinking about something which required little or no investment. It was really difficult, but we wanted to try it. E.D My background is different from Olson’s and Remijon’s. I had my university studies in Albania and I’ve always lived here. By that time, the our reality was not offering much. What we understood - I’m speaking about my generation, young artist - is that we need to get down to work and give our personal contribute to this. From 2010-2012, this period’s been very dynamic and rich in initiatives from temporary to long period ones. This has been the moment when the first independent art spaces were opened. Before, as far as I know about the art management in Albania, it was just a matter of institutions, a “war” between them and as Art Academy students, we were at the center of many institutional debate. I become very much involved and with some university friends, we were opening exhibitions in their houses. I also had a personal initiative which lasted some 8 months. In this moment, internet became fully accessible. I ran by chance into a series of documentaries
about contemporary art, a long series, a RAR of 62 documentaries and introduced them to the social center in Hoxha Tahsin Street, the former “MJAFT” organization building. The director of the center (on this occasion I would like to thank the manager of that time, Pezana Rexha) offered the space so each Thursday evening we organized a screening followed by film discussion. I still remember that by that time, a lot of students were getting back to Albania after their studies in Italy so this created a small discussion groups. The format changed when Ilir Kaso (my professor at the University of Arts) joined us and the project got a name and identity, MUR (in Albanian, wall) which was happening in two different, the social center and Tirana Express. The MUR project had a broader concept and it was considered as a “wall” where information was flowing, not as an isolation structure. After this, I paused for two months and talked with the guys to start the MIZA “adventure”. B.H How did the three of you come together and how was the atmosphere in Tirana? O. L As far as I can remember, once I got back from New York, I was so enthusiastic that I wanted to do something so my wishes came true through a common vision. First I started searching for a space and we found one near the Gallery of Arts. First we liked it because of the low
rent but then we noted that this space was really particular and looked like a tunnel. This is when we decided to really invest into something. E.D We wanted to put together youngsters sharing our same passion to become cultural agents. We were looking for people to invest time and money into a new initiative. From a young community of artists spending time with each other - I remember some small exhibitions organized in that time - we undertook a real art initiative and this is how the adventure started. The exhibitions were done zero budget-sometimes investing our own money-or with small contribution from artists, art lovers, general public who loved to spend their time there and sometimes even gave some precious suggestions. So Miza had three cofounders, but received a lot of love from the community around it. O. L I think we met because we shared the same passion. There could have been more cofounders, but some other artists couldn’t join for different reasons. In the beginning I remember us thinking on how to transform this space into a laboratory or studio. We had various ideas as still we did not understand what a space really meant. R.P We didn’t know where would that go, we learned by doing. First we though about a meeting space.
Olson had the idea while Endri, he had previous experience with zero/low budget initiatives and that was really important. I liked the idea as during high school, together with the painting group Blerta and were following, we used to spend time painting in the basement of my house which was a butchery before Miza was opened. This space also helped me on a personal level as I considered it as a laboratory, a place where to grow artistically and by the time passingfour years now-we had a lot of friends coming, joining our talks and deciding who to invite. This is what helped us a lot with our approach to work. B.H Can you consider Miza as a school for you, a place where you started treating with artists, texts, portfolios and most of all, did this have an influence on you as artists? E.D To me, Miza has been a life experience, more than a professional one. Here we faced different situations and various problems. Each one of us has its own artist research, but I don’t know how this would have continued without Miza’s support. During my experience, Miza helped us understand the system and the role of the artist in our society. This makes you feel responsible about your role in the society as an artist and individual. O. L This has been a life experience as we did not know how the space worked
and which was its function. Sometimes we wanted it to be a commercial gallery to contribute to the creation of an art market so as you can see, in our art scene, this revealed to be very naive of us. To me, Miza has been a sort of master in cultural management and after two years there, I understood I had all the skills to build an exhibition.
and sometimes totally transforming with art. Once we placed a traffic light at the entrance, another time the walls were painted pink, for another exhibition it was covered by flies. This desire to change the approach to art and the way to deal with it was the contribution Miza gave to the artistic underground scene.
B.H So in a short time, you learned to manage not just exhibitions, but yourself also.
B.H By that time, I was still living in Florence, but was very curious about events at Miza. Olson was a friend of time and we had previously worked together in other exhibitions such as â€œCrime Scenesâ€? with Kol VerĂ§ani. What really impressed me was that Miza despite from being a small and selfsustainable space, exhibitions were organized same as in other European art spaces. They had a curator, a text, communication and sometimes a very creative catalogue.
E.D It happened that some artists we were showing were older than us and had moved some steps forwards so we learned from them how to build a portfolio, how to behave with the public, how to build an eloquent interview with same basic criteria. All these things make you grow at a personal level. O. L Miza helped us become more professional. Artist we were showing were young so we started to be very exigent and asked them to have their own website. Miza brought a new approach to the art space, which was well known outside Albania. The space was small, but we managed to transform this drawback into a strong point as artist who wanted to build their exhibition, were feeling immediately very familiar with this small space. Sometimes big spaces scare you so our gallery become soon a place where to experiment
O. L Exhibitions were well curated starting from labels to the catalogue, when we could afford to have it. Communication tools helped as create a good image for the gallery and the events happening there.. E.D We always wanted Miza to have a strong communication as it was an alternative space run by young people who want to represent their values for life connected to technology, communication and image. It happened that by that time I was also working as a designer in
Tirana and my experience in the field of marketing helped me build the image of Miza so we created a layout as all museums and galleries do, where communication for exhibitions have specific parameters. We used technology to promote Miza, not just newsletters or Facebook communication. I still remember Miza’s first anniversary. It had been quite a dynamic year, we decided to make a video where to include all people who had contributed to “Miza one year old”. Artists and curators were invited to and film themselves while buzzing Zzzzz... as flies do. From that experience, the video became another channel of communication. Once we had an exhibition, apart from the poster and mass media communication, we used to launch a video which was like an intro to attract the general public. As for the catalogues, these were sometimes paying the rent of the space as we couldn’t afford to do it ourselves. We found this strategy and created some limited copies of catalogues signed by the artist so that with the money raised, we could pay the rent of the space. B.H Did this work? E- Honestly, it didn’t. It worked just for the first two or three exhibitions and few people were buying them so this was not sufficient for us and the time we were spending on a catalogue.
B.H Did you receive any financing? I mean, with all the exhibitions, Miza must have had a good reputation in Tirana art scene so I don’t think it was very difficult to raise funds. Did you do that? R.P Yes we did. A lot of people promised to help us, but these were just some warm words for us. Our greatest supporter has been the Italian Institute of Culture for the “Andata Ritorno Exhibition 2” and this has been our fist institutional cooperation. We also had other individuals financing our events, which they still do today. I would like here to thank Roberto Berna, one of the rare collectors of young artists, mostly the one engaged in photography. We’ve always tried to collect funds for the space, the rent, the exhibitions but couldn’t do that. When we opened the gallery, calls for proposals did not exist. One of the first and most sincere offers came from the artists themselves. We organized a fair and each of them donated one or two works in order to help us pay the rent for the next two years. Many artists answered our call so from this fair we managed to gather 70.000 out of 130.000 leke we needed for the rent. This really motivated us for our work. After the change of the government, there was a boom of open calls but we failed from a bureaucratic procedures for the first two years. Only the third year we managed to find some funds which would help us prepare this book while we provided ourselves for the
rest. We couldn’t find somebody who would deal with project applications in Albania or other programs such as BAC or Creative Europe. B.H Why did you decide for the name Miza? E.D When we had the space and were designing the logo, we used to meet with Olson in the coffee bar near my workplace and started discussing about our project. Once Olson came and said we should decide about a name. O. L When we were cleaning the space, a lot of people coming by suggested us to register our activity. An art gallery in Albania can be either an NGO or a private business. E.D This is when we started thinking about a name. Olson’s parents have had a private business, a printing house, so we had to register our space with a secondary tax ID number. As the printing house was named Olson, the gallery had to be named after Olson, so Olson Gallery. Let’s say nobody really liked it so we decided to open our one ID number which would reflect our ideas. O.L When we decided to quit the idea of a secondary tax ID number, a lot of ideas about the name came out-
English names such as white cube was one of them-as we got inspired from similiar spaces in other countries. Endri insisted on Albanian names, same as in Kosovo where they use old Albanian words to name a new space. When I came up with Miza, everybody agreed. Apart form the popular meaning this word Miza (in English, fly) has in Albania, related it to something or somebody who disturbs you, there is another idea behind it. When I was studying in Florence, I found very interesting the history of Giotto. When we was a student at Cimabue’s atelier, one day his master leaves the workplace and the young artist draws a fly on a painting Cimabue was working on. The fly was said to be so lifelike that on his return Cimabue tried to brush it off. When he understood it was painting, Cimabue asked who had made it. Frightened Giotto admitted his fault and Cimabue made him leave the atelier as he didn’t need his master anymore. This nice anecdote tells how a simple trick showed the mastery of Giotto so we thought it was due time for young artists to create their own atelier and raise their voice in the artistic scene. B.H How did Miza work and how were the artists chosen? R.P We were usually doing it as we had to consider various organizational aspects, especially related to the budget. After this, we could think about the artist, his/her art discourse, how
would he/she relate to the city and Miza, a small space like a tunnel with a low ceiling so one could not come with an exact idea, but had to do a site specific work. E.D In the first year, Miza did not have a proper program, but was just an opened space for exhibitions. With the last exhibition of the first year, we started considering the role of the curator. Meeting young artists and seeing their portfolios we identified some common topics they were sharing in order to build collective shows. The first one was Hot Tabu with works of erotic expression which in a narrow-minded society, was really bold. The next one was Pasolini Prossimo Nostro where we invited 4 artists with works were sharing Pasoliniâ€™s thoughts and we invited an anthropologist, Sofia Kalo to write a critical text about an exhibition. O.L When we first opened we wanted to have each month an exhibition so that artists could take this opportunity to show their works as we didnâ€™t know how long the gallery would be opened. B.H The exhibition which inaugurated new space was Soft Meal. It was a collective exhibition, a good practice Olson and I saw during a workshop in Sarajevo. Soft Meal brought together four female Albanian and Bosnian
artists sharing an anthropological meal as all their works were using food to show the feminine, the protest, sex and game. B.H At this point, Iâ€™d like to talk about the dark period of Miza. When I came back to Albania, I remember about the fair organized with artists as Miza was about to close, not because they had lost their enthusiasm, but for a matter of funding. This was when I joined the group. We had very long talks on whether we should continue to keep the space opened and what would be the future of Miza. After the fair, there were not any planned exhibitions. Miza reopened after six months. In countries of the Balkan Region, the artistic scene is influenced by different factors strictly connected to the political changes. Public institutions do not have proper politics for art engagement and this makes these institutions, same as self-run space, not sustainable.
Images in the paintings of Sidi Kanani look as if they were emerged into a misty nostalgia, ruins of buildings laying on ground as traces from monuments of a fallen empire which came through the Paradise lost leaving behind the ghosts of our collective consciousness and transforming the perspective of their exorcism into a heavy load, almost a burden. In Kanani’s works, we note that this exhausting process has somehow started. His paintings englobe the quality of discovery. The artists seems to share with us what he has found in the aberration of the realm of dreams where he is frequently tormented from the memories of a traumatizing past. His naive brushworks immerses us in the universe of somebody paintings while his eyes still heavy from dreams, unobservant, a quick gaze into the skeleton structure of cold-lighted ruins floating over an abandoned landscape where nothing actually happens. Gëzim Qëndro
ANILA SHAPALAKU AGRON MESI OLSON LAMAJ HELDI PEMA TONI MILAQI
“Eroticism differs from animal sexuality in that human sexuality is limited by taboos and the domain of eroticism is that of the transgression of these taboos. Desire in eroticism is the desire that triumphs over the taboo. It presupposes man in conflict with himself” Georges Bataille, Death and Sensuality (1962). “The taboo” is with no doubt one of the most important principles of human behaving. It has been historically shaped the contours of the sacred and the profane, the possible and impossible, silence and expression, the good and the bad. Each society has its own taboos, but we can talk about a universal taboo related to sexual behavior, to erotism. Maybe this strong taboo about erotism that has made eros one of the most recurring subject in different fields of art from the Paleolithic times with drawings and carvings in caves to the works of contemporary artists who have treated eros in relation to different phenomenons such as consume, religion, politics and law. In the Albanian contexts, public manifestations of erotism in behavior or arts have been strictly prohibited. During the communism period, even though artists treated human body in various ways (especially the female body) hidden in their studios, they were severely punished if their work was made public. The official socialist realism art did not support explicit reference to erotism as everything was encoded with ideological statement of the system about the body, man and sexuality. Immediately after the fall of the regime, many artists tried to subvert the taboos of the past-sexuality was among them in order to get closer with Western modernism. In the last period, our staff has noted that the treatment of sexuality in art is rare, almost “invisible” and this is
why “Hot Taboo” wants to introduce the general public with the works of five artists dealing with this topic. A few words about the artists. Heldi Pema brings to us the female body in different states of self pleasure. The figure is disguised so representing a sort of metaphor of social or even personal bias about such behavior which makes the sexual intercourse even more stimulating, as Bataille says. On the other hand, Anila Shapaluku introduces some subjects standing in a formal pose and she juxtaposes over their bodies traditional elements of Albanian culture with graphic elements of the body in order to emphasize the omnipresence of lust even in the so called traditional societies. Agron Mesi brings some sketches from his diary which he did not mean to show, but should be considered as ephemeral expression of the artists’ personal phantasies. Toni Maliqi shows some “snapshots” of the body and sexual relationships with emotions and sensuality they involve, all elements our society considers as strictly related to sex. The last of the artists, Olson Lamaj, comes with a series of paintings in old frames used for family photographs. Lamaj is not just reusing frames and the topic of painting, but he also tries to emphasize the prejudice and the silence which is typical about the attitude Albanian families have towards sex. “Hot taboo” does not necessarily want to push the public to break taboos. If this happened to be true, it would be an ambitious or even provocative attitude. The aim of this exhibition is to push the public to examine social and personal taboos and face our internal conflict of erotic desire, as Georges Bataille says in the above statement.
SCENE OF A CRIME
Apartment buildings. Fields of buildings. Buildings and neighborhoods. Building entrances. Skies of buildings. Buildings under the moonlight, and buildings that cast shadows on other buildings. This cycle of works began in 2008 until 2010 when Koli Verรงani was studying architecture. It was a quiet period characterized by a decrease in new buildings following the legal and illegal construction boom of the previous years. A necessary silence, it seemed as if people needed to reflect on what they had built. Viewing these photos by Koli Verรงani reminds me of a Walter Benjamin quote on Eugene Atget. Atget photographed the streets of Paris as if capturing the scene of a crime. The same can be said about most of these images, whose solemnity is a reminder of something similar to the architectural torture and murder that has happened to the City in the last 10-15 years. In the superb documentation that Atget has done to nearly every corner of Paris, the human figure is scarce. The absence makes the photograph almost surreal and distant. A deep sense of distance is also perceived in these works, where the images are immersed in some artificial silence and mystery, a stagnant atmosphere that has nothing to do with the stillness of the sleep brought on by night, but with a deaf quietude from death. The artist deliberately avoids human presence by choosing as setting the City of night: a city that could have been any other, because its most recognized places are not captured here and a certain anonymity prevails the cycle.
Koli’s photography is not documentary, it is not simply recording through the lens what the eye sees. Behind each composition hides the desire to make these neighborhoods and suburb buildings protagonists of an uncharted City: The desire to show something new. Is such a claim still possible today? Thousands of photographs, often of famous cities, main roads, the most impressive buildings, photographed a thousand times, by a thousand photographers, at dawn, in the morning, at noon, in the west, in the evening, after dinner, and so forth. I continuously try to find the differences. It is extremely tedious. Instinctively, through the anonymity of the details of a city for which we only know that it is not Tirana, the artist has found those urban landscapes that are unknown, without risking his images resembling others, no one else would be able to identify the same view to photograph. By using the landscape’s lack of identity, the artist tries to give us something original. Initially his interest is directed within the neighborhoods, putting an emphasis on building interventions by private entities such as additions of the most imaginative kind. It seems as if at the core of these interventions is the ability to distinguish the character of the individuals occupying them. The human absence transforms the buildings into anthropomorphic beings so they emerge as selfportraits of each resident. Koli Verçani sees the city as a scene from a film. He tries to select buildings with no lighting, but that are lit only because contrary to the film where something is expected to happen, here nothing does. It seems as though he has waited for this shot to be vacated in order to capture it, and as is done in forensic photography, once again he handles the place as a scene of a crime, whereas the buildings and neighborhoods as annihilated victims.” Blerta Hoçia
“Klodian Deda’s work “Semafor” suggests a threedimensional space between two traffic lights; inserting the public in a perceptual setting to cultivate emotions in a space where sentient reality prevails. We are dealing with an “un-framed” exhibit that falls outside conventional norms and takes into account visual art as it closely relates to the extent of the volume it occupies, thus creating a psychological space where genuine thought merges with the perception of the body in a precise space/time momentum. Utilizing a three-dimensional space as an immaterial art piece establishes the premise for a specific aesthetic category leaning more towards epistemology than ontology through the transgression of the formal expression forms, developing a sensory experience, visions, fantasies, and a state of tension in the space between the austere traffic lights, which consequently provoke a contradictory abstract reality that puts the public in a dilemma or questionable position, thus presenting an analogy between illusion and purpose. What is the objective opinion suggested here, by the space between two specific objects symbolically represented by two contingent traffic lights? The answers come from the subconsciousness and the cultural domain. Andi Tepelena
Semaphore by its etymilogy and then in the broadest sense, means: a carrier of semata, sign bearer. This ubiquitous instrument of semiotics applied to human trade, know as the traffic light, has a privileged status as the tool that never fails, which must be respected for civic duty, education, personnal safeguard. Entered preponderantly in use for regular road traffic, it has been borrowed from the maritime signaling system. Deda brings it inside the house, stripping it of its usual power and its regulatory function. Yet the house (that living place used as a dormitory, office or studio that might be), has always been the crowedest place in the world. And no place more that a modern house (whether used as a gallery, bar or boutique), would need a carrier of semata to manage the extremely congested traffic. The house of modern man may seems like a forge sometimes, and more likely it ressembles to a pressure cooker; in there rest and clash the hardly contained ambitions of this era, still haunted by the need to go beyond himself, and get cancelled in the space of realization. But the introduction of the semaphore in the house, by Deda, sounds ironic and provocative. Astrit Cani
MY NAME THEIR CITY
The boundaries and passages between personal names and what these names name are a recurring aspect in Alban Muja’s practice. “My name their city” is a collection of portraits showing people holding images of towns after which the holders in these pictures were named. It is a representation of a particular feature of Kosovar culture and its history. The geographic names of Albania, used as personal names by the Kosovars across the border in the north, are a legacy of a romantic national dream of the later, the historical aspiration for territorial annexation. One could argue that these geographical names become territorial displacements on a psychological scale, shifts from the original object to a more acceptable or immediate substitute. Unless one accepts the simpler explanation, that of a commonplace idiosyncratic fad of a certain epoch. The portraits themselves are representations holding representations. The way Muja has chosen to present these names, as photographs within photographs, maintains a certain insurmountable distance and sense of loss of the object of these individuals names. This line of artistic thought can be traced in his earlier
work, whereby the artist video-records a woman’s confessional story about her mother being moved by a news report that influenced her to name her daughter Palestine. Personal names can have impersonal stories that can relate to ideological aspirations or individual post-natal inclinations. Where there are births there seem to follow names, and where there are names indices of human aspirations, symbolic celebrations, fetish and affectations. A photograph depicting Kosovar boys named “Tonyblair” after the UK’s PM who did play a key role in the military intervention against Milosevic in 1999 displays the very birth of a personal name. A historical by-product of a broader geo-strategic condition, that between a savior and victim. In sum, Alban Muja is a culturologist who borrows from phenomena characteristic of his native country. He is a researcher of a sort, tampering into mechanisms of the self evident, unwittingly alluding to something deeper, to something beneath the obviousness of our cultures. His work, straightforwardly, reveals the artificial and the ridiculous behind the pure and serious. Genc Kadriu
ENERGJI E PASHFRYTËZUAR / ‘ENERGY UNUSED’
Ergys Zhabjaku’s photography is characterized by the search for plasticity in photographic language. On the one hand, it explores the expressive possibilities of photography by disregarding technological capacities provided by this tool today and emphasizing individual artistic temperament, while simultaneously looking to document the existence of resistant forms toward urbanizing structures in rural and suburban neighborhoods. The still images belong to a world without regulatory systems, where the energy carried and transmitted by humans is still uncontrolled and untapped.” Alban Hajdinaj
PASOLINI PROSSIMO NOSTRO Curated by Sofia Kalo
Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922 – 1975) is one of the most courageous and influential artists of the 20th century. His oeuvre, which spans poetry, film and painting, stands in the van guard of mid-century (and beyond) debates on social inequality, violence and the alienation of human beings in modernity. Interpreted by many as perverse and radical, Pasolini’s critique of modernity is also romantic: his films frequently present us with alternative, pre-modern realities, where people live in the absence of religion, government or technology. His social critique is also a testimony of attacks on him as a homosexual and an atheist. And yet, these aspects of his being, which Pasolini never denied or hid, continue to be embodied in his films’ protagonists. The artists of “Pasolini Prossimo Nostro” have been influenced by and refer to different elements of Pasolini’s vast body of work, but especially his views on power and its effects on the social and individual body, which have been thoroughly articulated [also] in Giuseppe Bertolucci’s documentary with the same title (2006). As we see in the works of Adrian Paci, Blerdi Fatusha, Endri Dani and Leke M. Gjeloshi who coincidentally or not, are all from Shkodra and have lived and worked in Italy, Pasolini’s social critique is highly relevant even today, in Albania and elsewhere.
ADRIAN PACI BLERDI FATUSHA ENDRI DANI LEK M. GJELOSHI
ELIZABETH M. CLAFFEY
Elizabeth M. Claffey’s “Hospital Gowns,” and “The Waiting” both investigate the often cold and stilted experience individuals have within the health system. The medical apparatus, its hardware, architecture, and personnel, are largely focused on efficiency, economy, and hygiene, rather than humanity and nurturing. Because the human body is both the subject and the object of this system, the patient experiences a rift between the psychological and physical self, leading to feelings of anxiety and alienation. Through image, form, and medium, Claffey’s work articulates the complex relationship between the individual and their own physical self within this context. “Hospital Gowns” consists of photographic images of anonymous individuals of both sexes with diverse body types printed on hospital gowns. The breadth of individuals represented in this series suggests that exposure to the medical system is a leveling experience, detached from issues of sex and race. By virtue of the photographic transfer process employed, the images of the bodies appear blurred and fragmentary. This result, coupled with the absence of a face or head, suggest that a weakened or degraded facsimile is all that remains of a former self. The hospital gown, with its apparent starchiness, transparency, and general feeling of cheapness, makes an appropriate substrate for these images, not only because the physical object immediately references a medical environment, but also because its characteristics conjure associations of vulnerability, impermanence, and the transitory. Furthermore, the method of display in which the gowns are suspended by a thin line emphasizes the experience of these human figures as apparition rather than concrete. This suggests a reduction of the patient from physical reality to abstract concept. “The Waiting” is a video that pictures the artist clad in a hospital gown, seated uncomfortably in an austere, presumably medical, environment waiting for the doctor to arrive. The visual austerity of the composition, the figure’s suspension in the center of the frame and distance from the camera, and the excruciating length of time and physical discomfort, all lead to feelings of alienation, control, and vulnerability. Ryan Mandell
THOSE WHO TRIEDTO PUT THE RAINBOW BACK IN THE SKY Curated by Claudio Cravero
“Those who tried to put the rainbow back in the sky” tells the story of three people and a duck that, being on a ship of concrete in a wait condition, accidentally found a piece of rainbow fallen from the sky. In doubt about the origin and the destiny of the rainbow, then they decide to put the rainbow back in the sky. As in ancient Greek theatrical representations of tragedies, everything in this video takes place in one day which also coincides with the real length of the video shoots. However, is impossible to decipher the historical time, as it is rather a “lived time” which allow us to reflect only upon the final act that dramatically suspends any judgment and brings any thought back to its origin.
Wings of fly: disease and medicine On the installation “Artist Swatter” of Rafet Jonuzi As Jonuzi with its latest installation reminded us on the fly, and in one way or another made us to follow the thread of its world, I remembered finding a “wee” about the fly, which exceeds its physical size: On one side of the fly there is disease and on the other one there is medicine. Therefore, if a fly falls into a pot with food, you shouldn’t just draw it out, but first dip it slightly, and then remove it. Jonuzi also invites us to interact with his flies: by dipping them slightly. Leaving aside this fact, but aiming at a metaphor through it, the relationship of the artist with his work is a confrontation with illness and medicine, arising and imposed in any creative act. This is because the creative process is a disease of its kind for the creator – of course, a metaphysical one – while we get overwhelmed by a fever like situation, submitted to ideal/conceptual as well as physical wandering. As in the case of a physical illness, which deteriorates strongly the very being/existence of human being, in the creative process alike, the artist goes through a stage of isolation in him and everyone is excessive to the extent of being included in this experience. And so, every creative process has naturally a limit - and not an end - which marks the birth or disclosure (if not stated in scientific terms!) of a given work, which comes as a medicine, as a sui generis therapy, first and foremost for its author.2 In one way or another, every creator experiencing a kind of liberation when convinced that the work has been completed, which liberation is accompanied by a certain repose, sometimes with a kind of joy (deeply internal, not easily externalized), and sometimes with a sudden gust of ecstasy; as there is also such a kind of situations that can not be grasped by the word, let alone defined by it. Like many contemporary artists, in many of his works, Jonuzi operates on/with ready things,3 intervening in certain areas or on various items, which he acquires under an evolving situation, or “universe in evolution”, as he calls it. Also in the case of the Artist Swatter installation, Jonuzi adapts the artistic gesture or action to the space of “The Fly” gallery and he borrows also
certain elements (ready) of everyday life by interfering on them (made). Let us recall here that, “since the beginning of the eighties, a growing number of major artists interprets, reproduces, reexhibits or uses works performed by others, or available cultural products. The art of post-production coincides with the multiplication of cultural offer, but also, indirectly, with the annexation of forms long ignored or despised by the art world. For those artists who combine their work with the work of others, one can say that they help in the deletion of traditional distinction between production and consumption, creation and copy, ready-made and original work. The stuff they manipulate is no more primordial. In their case it’s not about elaborating a form starting from a raw material, but working with objects already circulating since a long time in the cultural market, which means long informed by others. Notions of authenticity (what is in the genesis of...) and of the very creation (to do something starting from nothing) get slowly vague in this new cultural landscape marked by the twin figures of DJ’s and programmers. Both have the task of selecting cultural objects and putting them in well-defined contexts.” Even in Jonuzi’s case, we have the intervention into an available space (that of gallery), which is also one of the main causes giving rise to the artist to perform the work. Thus, besides the fact that the gallery “The Fly” has a function as a gallery, when the artist visits the empty environment and gets inspired of it, he begins to think that he can do something here, without contacting the gallery in advance to exhibit there one or several works made earlier. Hence, the work is accomplished in the gallery, – depending on it, not in spite of it – and therefore space becomes an essential part of the work, not as in the case of - for example – painting, which can be displayed in any gallery regardless of location and plan. Also, besides converting space as part of the work, Jonuzi has made part of it also two thousand flies, some snowshoes and the rice, as well as the visitors, which as we stressed at the beginning, are required to enter into a relationship with the work, touching or pressing the flies that are scattered across the walls; not just to touch them, but those that in a distance seem to us
simply as a nothing and for which we don’t even care, become a thing with an essence – that they actually have. With this work Jonuzi tries to draw our attention and remind us to of a thing that, as many other things, is at best just a common thing, while at worst we erase it from our memory; meanwhile the truth – that is related to us – is not at all so (as proved by the data at the top of this article), moreover when it comes to living things around us, with each of them constituting an indispensable link in the chain of beings that form and shape (because it has a role) what we call Nature. The artist therefore doesn’t hesitate to deal with the fly, even though this could be surprising to many that would ironically ask: What? Is there any art in the fly? All this is due to many of us having an increasingly deteriorating relation with Nature, or with the Whole – obviously because we have worsened the report with our self. We live in an era of discovering the finest details about certain animals or natural phenomena (that to our ancestors were totally inconceivable), but in exchange of loss of (exactly) visualization and meditation, which would allow us marveling what surrounds us as a Whole in harmony, not fragmented, as we have learned from the experts and supporters of fragmentation, among whom the most important ones are the Isaac Newton and Adam Smith. To the question of what art can give to man, in the case of installation of Rafet Jonuzi, we have the answer: It remembers to man what he has forgotten - because man is a being that (especially) forgets; and when forgetfulness goes to the point that ostracizes his relationship with the chain of beings, which we are part of and above all we have a role to play in, then art is displayed as a sign on the path – thus, not the path itself. Edison Çeraj September, 2013
I AM THE RIVER
On July 8, 2013 the Ministry of Public Works and Transport together with the Ministry of Environment in Greece signed a document approving a project to divert rivers in northern Greece and enhancement of lake waters in JaninĂŤ. In this list of rivers is the river AOOS-VJOSA which begins its journey near VOVOUSA Epirus in northwestern Greece and continues to its natural flow towards the Adriatic Sea, in Vlora, southern Albania. BETWEEN NATURE AND CULTURE BEYOND NATIONAL PRIDE
Curated by Eriola Pira
Ledia Kostandini closed the year 2012 with a studio visit. Everyone was invited. The artist’s studio (which she still shares with her colleague, Matilda Odobashi) was transformed into a Salon full of art and life. Previously exposed work, work in progress, discussions, gaiety, coffee and wine, all was served to art-lovers for four days. The artist and her art presented themselves generously, straightforwardly, without the framing of an exhibition or the contextualization of the next curator. It’s rare that we, the public, have such direct access to an artist, let alone her studio, which we imagine as a mysterious place where the artistic process and the work of art are conceptualized and realized before we encounter it in the gallery or elsewhere. Last year’s invitation for a studio visit was a sort of demystification of the artist and a re-introduction to her, by bringing the artist, as well as her labor and artwork closer to the public, who has lost links with the artist as much as contact with art.
IT STARTED STARTED STARTED SOMEHOW
The work titled “it started started started somehow (zoo)” is comprised of three distinct elements. One of these elements explores the relationship between a monument and the trees surrounding it; moreover, it looks into the relationship’s capacity to create its own sound score. Another element, looks in to the surroundings of a shrinking and disappearing zoo. A residue. A zoo that is present only through the sound it produces. The three elements rupture, prolong, deform, reform and renew the meaning of each other in the light of the new context where they are situated.
MUZGU I RIKTHIMIT
â€œThe Twilight of Returningâ€œ is a sound-art performance related to the deep senses, to the perception of memory and the way how an object of remembrance returns in less of its original form. The sounds establish meeting points between the contexta and the listener, each sound bears unique perceptions and aims to trasmit an abstract sense of affiliation to the self. Perceiveing memory, not as a meditation on the object of remembrance but as a meditation on memory itself and how memory can never reappear detachedly from the flow of thoughts/contextx/sensations that a person has during his life. Every time a memory reappears it exists as a context in progressive evolution. To remember means to continually rediscover yourself in the present state of being. Twilight: Aesthetic/conceptual conjunction between the element of fading (of a memory) and the romantic element of the perception of the fading itself. Returning: The return of the object of remembrance (more and more vague and abstracted) The performance takes place for a period of about 45-50 minutes. The design of the sketch of the musical bases and modulations/stratificationa of the sounds will be prepared in advance and will then be completed during the performance through the laptops, the softwares designed by the artist and the electronic devices. The soundworks have a minimalist approach and the performance will also include an associative visual element with a video composed of slowly flowing blurred shapes to provide a hypnotic character to the continuity of perception. The visual element is not meant to be directly related to the music, but have an additional effect to the musical concepts by creating a separate presentation in two different planes, like looking at an object directly in front of our vision and one in the tail of our vision at the same moment.
Curated by Romeo Kodra
Ergin Zaloshnja’s exhibition “ De Ludii” synthesizes the two spaces of MIZA Gallery in order to create a dreamlike situation, a “site specific” one, which is now totally absorbed by everyday life. Emerged into a playground atmosphere, the public will transit in the immanent boundaries of the broad horizon of art events where anxiety brings together the real and the unreal. The unusual artistic coherence of acts and objects, apart from the taxonomic articulation of the selected gallery, is totally left to public judgement.
SHAKING HANDS AND FAKE SMILES TO HIGH HEELS AND THICK TIES
“Shaking hands and fake smiles to high hills and thick ties” questions the role of the artist inside the art system as well as how his public image is perceived by the audience. Is the artist’s role in todays society established by the gallery/museum or by his own status quo reflected into a onesided mirror sustained by the critics/audience? In a circle ranging from politics to art, various unnamed elements contribute to achieve ultimately a single product. This product can be reduced to the notion of image. Image is one of the components which sustains a sort of natural selection in those circles. By employing the plural “we”, every artist is placed in the same level including the creator of this work, who takes the courage to reveal what hides behind the curtain. How far can we push the envelope and still get away with it? Every vernissage of this work is characterised by a performance consisting of several artists wearing a white tshirt with the word ‘Actor’ printed in black. The font used in the original artwork is composed only by hard minimalistic lines in order to be as direct and straightforward as possible. The cartel (small text) which accompanies the main piece is a sarcastic view of a “formal attire” exposition.
THE MAKING OF INTERPRETATION
Curated by Ana Frangovska
Fitore Isufi – Koja is young conceptual artist from Kosovo who works with discourses related to the socio-cultural conditions and circumstances in transitional societies, applicable as well to her country and its neighbors. The issues of tradition, myths, war conflicts, gender, transformation, absurd and contrasts between the old and the new, the dominant patriarchal system of values versus the contemporary freedom of behaving and acting, and many other existential aspects preoccupy her visual explorations and artworks. The selected works of the latest Koja’s presentation in Miza (alternative space) in Tirana entitled “The making of interpretations” examine gender issues and question the position of women in Kosovo nowadays and the reminiscences of the old system, conflicting with the new times. Gender balanced point of view of certain aspects that determine the status of the woman from patriarchal societies in general (women in subordinated positions), is contrasted with the ironical presentation of the former values and their alteration in new attire as a symbol of the past and exceeded times. However, Koja also disputes the aspect of the current rural reticence of norms and restraints by questioning the elements of emancipation, modernization and contemporariness.
Curated by Blerta Hoçia
The meal we are enjoying together, before becoming a food, is a ritual and a way of communication. This specific ritual speaks a language, which is always universal and contemporary. In prevailing anthropological readings, cooking food was the first action of cultured societies that created a clear distinction between people and the animals . The passage from raw to cooked marks first of all a cultural development transmutes human from primate state into the social man. According to Claude Levi - Strauss, humans contains both; they are at once biological beings and social individuals since with the act of cooking they are able to transform natural material into cultural products. In the socio - biological study A Zoologist’s Of The Human Animal, Desmond Morris describes the behaviour and the compartmental human history of evolution. For their survivor, people had to hunt. They needed a better-evolved brain to replace the absence of strength. Also their natural physique wasn’t as agile compared to the other animals. As a consequence, to educate and develop the brain, humans needed a more prolonged childhood. To achieve this, among other reasons, human began to live in couples and practice monogamy. Gender roles were inevitably separated to the detriment of women that mostly had to stay home and take care of the private sphere by giving birth to children, educating, nurturing etc., while men were out providing food through hunting and war fare. The couple’s construction scheme, and as a result the essential transformation of the entire society has remained mostly unchanged until today. However, the emergence of the first feminist
ADELA JUŠIC NARDINA ZUBANOVIC BESKIDA KRAJA
wave, almost two centuries ago, questioned a whole worldview about gender roles that was completely obsolete, also reviewed and criticized its institutionalized division, of gender roles, the positions of women inside the heterosexual patriarchal patterns, where women continued to perform the functions of the female primate. Once again, as in the age of cavemen, the male provides food and the female remains trapped in the passive role, deceiving herself with the ridiculous illusion of happy housewife. Lastly after entering the labour market in huge numbers women were left with double burden, still performing the unpaid domestic and reproductive labour . The works of the three artists have food as common object of cultural value that carries the meaningful symbolism of the society we live in. A changing value that sometimes divides and others merges and connects as we can see in FAMILY of Beskida Kraja, the bread wraps in a holy ritual life of the couple and the family . In the video-installation “FOOD WITH EXPERIENCE” of Nardina Zubanovic, this value becomes a game, which triggers the imagination, transforms the ordinary alimentary context and inquiries the gender role clichés and stereotypes through an ironic and humorous way. In “A DINNER FOR THREE”, a video performance from Adela Jušic, eating is a powerful ritual with symbolic representation of gender, religious and generational dif ferences.The following works are like a recipe for a new meal whose ingredients are compiled together to create a “soft” composition that invites into a new way of thinking.
Curated by Blerta Hoçia
The meal we are enjoying together, before becoming a food, is a ritual and a way of communication. This specific ritual speaks a language, which is always universal and contemporary. In prevailing anthropological readings, cooking food was the first action of cultured societies that created a clear distinction between people and the animals. The passage from raw to cooked marks first of all a cultural development transmutes human from primate state into the social man. According to Claude Levi - Strauss, humans contains both; they are at once biological beings and social individuals since with the act of cooking they are able to transform natural material into cultural products. In the socio - biological study A Zoologist’s Of The Human Animal, Desmond Morris describes the behaviour and the compartmental human history of evolution. For their survivor, people had to hunt. They needed a better-evolved brain to replace the absence of strength. Also their natural physique wasn’t as agile compared to the other animals. As a consequence, to educate and develop the brain, humans needed a more prolonged childhood. To achieve this, among other reasons, human began to live in couples and practice monogamy. Gender roles were inevitably separated to the detriment of women that mostly had to stay home and take care of the private sphere by giving birth to children, educating, nurturing etc., while men were out providing food through hunting and war fare. The couple’s construction scheme, and as a result the essential transformation of the entire society has remained mostly unchanged until today. However, the emergence of the first feminist
ÖZGÜR DEMIRCI TOMISLAV BRAJNOVIC GENTI GJIKOPULLI
wave, almost two centuries ago, questioned a whole worldview about gender roles that was completely obsolete, also reviewed and criticized its institutionalized division, of gender roles, the positions of women inside the heterosexual patriarchal patterns, where women continued to perform the functions of the female primate. Once again, as in the age of cavemen, the male provides food and the female remains trapped in the passive role, deceiving herself with the ridiculous illusion of happy housewife. Lastly after entering the labour market in huge numbers women were left with double burden, still performing the unpaid domestic and reproductive labour . The works of the three artists have food as common object of cultural value that carries the meaningful symbolism of the society we live in. A changing value that sometimes divides and others merges and connects as we can see in FAMILY of Beskida Kraja, the bread wraps in a holy ritual life of the couple and the family. In the video-installation “FOOD WITH EXPERIENCE” of Nardina Zubanovic, this value becomes a game, which triggers the imagination, transforms the ordinary alimentary context and inquiries the gender role clichés and stereotypes through an ironic and humorous way. In “A DINNER FOR THREE”, a video performance from Adela Jušic, eating is a powerful ritual with symbolic representation of gender, religious and generational dif ferences. The following works are like a recipe for a new meal whose ingredients are compiled together to create a “soft” composition that invites into a new way of thinking.
FORMS OF PRESENCE
In her exhibition Forms Of Presence, Albanian, Berlinbased artist Silva Agostini presents us with two video works and a series of photographs. The content of her work derives from different sets of questions-different observations and various formal decisions, mostly reflecting on the human condition. In order to convey her mindset, in Forms of Presence, Agostini uses found material, choreography and documentary shots. At the core of her artistic practice, we find a profound interest in the human potential and its limitations. In her video work “(A) Current State”, the performer is involved in a complex sequence of movements. In doing so, she is not following any sort of direction, coming either from music rhythm, scripted choreography or fellow dancers. Instead, we rather find her exploring her inner impulses, rediscovering the body as a vessel. We encounter a paradox here, a profound paradox of the human condition: while we live through feelings, thoughts and emotions (invisible to us and to the environment surrounding us), the “thing” we act with, is our body and what we show is our skin. Agostini´s video concludes there, on the skin, in very close shots of this tissue that coats us, our visible outside, our recording device. Age and wounds are recorded there, as a remainder of the life we encounter. In the second video work “Monte d´Accoddi”, Agostini shows us an archeological site on the island of Sardinia, a site, only to be discovered by accident during the Second World War. Later in the 1950-ies, it was explored as a miraculous structure dating circa 4000 years before Christ. The structure of this site remains a mystery
since it shows an architectural style only found in former Mesopotamia made of stones that do not locally exist.. It is a platform made of piled up stones, an altar, a ramp, and residues of a dwelling hut scattered all around it. Who built this site and to what purpose? This question remains unanswered. With her video Agostini focuses yet on another condition of the human mind: Monte d´Accoddi is the remainder of a declared intention, it is a remainder of decisions we do not understand anymore. Nonetheless, a long time ago, these decisions led to this structure and we still are able to experience it. In juxtaposition to “ (A) Current State”, this work implies the human body as an ephemeral entity, its creation as permanent though mysterious. The photographs used in her work “That year, that Month, that Day” are old black and white photographs, which, Agostini crops into circles, turning them almost into the vision perceived by gazing through a telescope. A telescope to overcome time, not distance. We see odd details like, a tree, a bush or a meadow, we even discern a hat and tiny human body parts. Photographs always imply the past, but Agostini brings us a step further: a photographed human shows its past, but what about the scenery? Is the timelessness of the past a human condition? A remainder? Silva Agostini´s captured bits of the world function as signifiers. We see a moving body but are confronted with its inner space. We see shots of an archeological site but are reminded of the people who built it, their legacy. What we experience, can merely stand together as Forms of Presence. Nina Hoffmann
EVERYTHING STARTS FROM ZERO
Everything Starts from Zero is a condition in which we find ourselves as we reset from one failure to another. As life is more and more characterized by an increase of pressure and anxieties, from the various mechanical dysfunctions of every day to unfulfilled expectations from oneself or the others, failures and reset modes become routine. While most of people invest a lot of energies to cover up this reality, Alban Nimani has decided through this exhibition that he wants to be honest and open about his failures. How does somebody who lives in between two countries, has two jobs and is expecting a second child, while still wanting to be active as an artist, finds the time and closure to create substantive art?! Alban Nimani choses to bring this modality and state of being into our attention through a sound installation called â€œFailureâ€?, in which, in what appears to be a monologue and is later understood to be a dialogue, he talks about his relationship with failure. Another thing he decides to do; to borrow two photographs from fellow artist Alban Muja, as to remind us that through times of distress and failure friends can be the only form of support. It is indeed strange that somebody who is largely perceived as positive and radiant, that is known for his relationship to music and design, a natural born entertainer from whom the audiences expect to be constantly elevated, brings us such a suffocating disaster. Alban has for considerable time now been floating through different professional environments, from university halls where he teaches design, to stages where he performs his acclaimed musical repertoire, to running the gallery program of Tulla and from time to time has squandered in the showbiz. From running up and down this stairs he has learned something valuable, that success is often an occasional brake in between a lot of failures. Now reset! Rubin Beqo
In collaburation with Remix The Space Tirana
In Collaburation with Bunkart
In collaburation with MAPS Museum of Art in Public Space Tirana
In collaburation with FAB Gallery Tirana
In collaburation with Neurotitan Schwarzenberg Berlin
THE ARTIST IS PRESENT
In collaburation with Remix the space Coordinator Pamela Cohn
Seductive, fearless, and outrageous, Marina Abramovic has been redefining what art is for nearly forty years. Using her own body as a vehicle, pushing herself beyond her physical and mental limits––and at times risking her life in the process––she creates performances that challenge, shock, and move us. Through her and with her, boundaries are crossed, consciousness expanded, and art as we know it is reborn. She is, quite simply, one of the most compelling artists of our time. She is also a glamorous art-world icon, a lightning rod for controversy, and a myth of her own making. She is most certainly unlike anyone you have ever met before. The feature-length documentary film “Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present” takes us inside Marina’s world, following her as she prepares for what may be the most important moment of her life: a major retrospective of her work, taking place at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. To be given a retrospective at one of the world’s premiere museums is, for any living artist, the most exhilarating sort of milestone. For Marina, it is far more: it is the chance to finally silence the question she has been hearing over and over again for four decades: “But why is this art?” As the film opens, we find Marina in the final throes of planning her exhibition. We see her flitting around the museum, consulting with curators, gallerists, and designers, cracking jokes and charming everyone who crosses her path. As longtime friend and MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach puts it: “Marina is never not performing.” In a strategy meeting, she sets the stakes for what lies ahead: at 63, she has lost patience with being a fringe artist. What she wants now is for performance art to be legitimated. She is thinking of her legacy––and the MoMA show, as she well knows, can secure it once and for all.
ANDATA E RITORNO 2
Curated by Stefano Romano
In collaburation with FAB Gallery
ADI HAXHIAJ ALDI ZGJANI IVA LULASHI BLERTA HOCIA DRITAN HYSKA ELTJON VALLE RUDINA HOXHAJ PLEURAD XHAFA LEK M. GJELOSHI
The second edition of â€œAndata e Ritornoâ€? is an exposition dedicated to the art works of emerging Albanian artists educated in Italy and their motivation to transform this migratory mobility. Although employment is quite a strong incentive, their primary objective is the chance to pursue better academic and research opportunities in the neighbor country. This hopeful journey becomes a circle trip (departing and returning as the title of the exhibition suggests) once the young graduates return to Albania after completing their studies. They struggle as they try to build a new and diverse cultural scene, inspired by contemporary views and vibrant influences during their education in Italy. Stefano Romano, an Italian artist based in Albania, is chosen to become the figurative bridge of this movement, representing the unity between these two countries. A new generation of young artists stirring from one bridge of the Mediterranian to the other, is represented by: Adi Haxhiaj, Aldi Zgjani, Iva Lulashi, Blerta Hocia, Dritan Hyska, Eltjon Valle, Rudina Hoxhaj, Pleurad Xhafa, Lek M. Gjeloshi.
Curated by Olson Lamaj
In collaburation with Bunkart
Lazily looking for the desire of time and oblivion. In a desperate research where we loose signal. Proofs and traces have been left behind. Truth has been lost in the air. The works of these five artists come from a non real distance which we perceive as near or far from us through their stories. Time is lived and invented in their memories. Pieces of childhood memories which overcome the labyrinths of subconsciousness and comes to us in an artificial way through poetries and memories, films and refrains of selective nostalgia. We enter this magic box where the signal is missing and extract from there memories and dreams, images and revolutions. All this fragile process is done in an unconscious and natural way, in a state of darkness which isolates all rumors and sounds from another time, from other people. By collecting and recycling the tired pages of doctrines, iron pages of books are converted into decoration objects, in some case refining war scenarios or using film dialogues, in other cases simulating vibrant rhythm of volunteer work. An indifference which tries to disguise the filthy air of the dreams, in the box which in converted into a bunker where a red ribbon resembling a pioneer scarf is later transformed into a machinery which produces nightmares. All the artistsâ€™ research is like a bubble in a fragile skin which starts peeling and uncovering the underground labyrinths. Blerta Hocia
ASTRIT ISMAILI ALKETA RAMAJ ENKELEJD ZONJA RUDINA HOXHAJ LEDIA KOSTANDINI
THIS IS NOT A PALM TREE
Curated by Annika Hirsekorn In collaburation with Neurotitan Schwarzenberg
ALBAN MUJA ATDHE MULLA DREN MALIQI DRIANT ZENELI ENDRI DANI HAVEIT ILIR KASO JAKUP FERRI JETON MUJA KOJA OLSON LAMAJ SILVA AGOSTINI ARTAN HAJRULLAHU LEDIA KOSTANDINI MAJLINDA HOXHA REMIJON PRONJA ENKELEJD ZONJA
The group exhibition “This Is Not a Palm Tree” focuses on the work of young Albanian and Kosovar artists. For the first time in this form in Berlin, protagonists of the contemporary art scene in both countries will be collectively juxtaposed. The artists on display attempt to approach the multi-layered manifestations of collectivised memory and national identity in their home countries – both discourses which play an imperative role in current art from both countries. To envelop individual artistic positions under a national context seems stifling, even anachronistic and out of place, in the face of global realities such as mass migration and trans-cultural, hybrid identities. At the same time, however, an art conception that moves in an international context also needs to create a space, in which local connections and differences can be named and discussed. Albania and Kosovo today are still strongly informed by their communist past; Albania, who only since 1991 could begin to slowly emerge from near total isolation under the dictatorial regime of Enver Hoxha, and Kosovo, the former province of socialist Yugoslavia, whose 2008 declaration of independence makes it one of the world’s youngest sovereign states, albeit one still fighting for global recognition. Due to their communist legacies, both pasts are informed by state dictated image-politics as well as the current construction and manipulation of national commemorative and founding myths. The juxtaposition of artistic positions that deal with the historical and current commemorative and representational politics of two states that consider themselves one people opens another dimension: not only will the respective Kosovar and Albanian state ideologies be questioned, but also this constitution of a commonality – the narrative of Albanian as an ethnicity, homeland, culture and tradition. The exhibition’s title “This Is Not a Palm Tree” references a widespread image on facades of Kosovar homes: the mosaic of a palm tree, mostly formed by bigger brown and grey ornamental stones, with the leaves not always shaded by green. To interpret these facade ornaments as a reference to Albania may seem far-fetched but is, in fact, not without reason. Most Kosovars identify Albania as the motherland at the same time that they clearly feel
Kosovar with regards to their nation. Thus the Albanian flag, for example, is omnipresent in the small country, and palm trees, that do not exist here, can only be found behind the border, on the way to Tirana or at the beaches of Albania, where many Kosovars spend their holidays now that this is possible again. Albania, where palm trees do grow, and which is so near, yet has been out of reach for so long, retains its mythic qualities – as a place of longing and the true homeland. At the same time, “This Is Not a Palm Tree” also alludes to Belgian painter René Magritte’s famous caption “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This Is Not a Pipe). In his 1928 work “La trahesion des images” (The Treachery of Images) Magritte examines the complicated relationship between an assumed reality and its representation by means of pictorial and linguistic signs. A pursuit whose continuation of thought can be read, for example, in Driant Zeneli’s work “This Is a Castle”. In 2010 the young Albanian artist travelled his home country in order to document the new Albanian castle buildings that are used as restaurants, hotels and suchlike. This building trend in Albania clearly bears witness of a local architecture that references folk myths – an architecture that pretends to be something that it is not, that thus appears short-lived and naïve, whereby it bears analogy to that conceived palm tree metaphor. At bottom “This Is Not a Palm Tree” neither can nor wants to present a profound analysis of the two countries’ recent pasts’ relationship in any detail, nor wants to elaborate how the different starting points have influenced, and continue to influence, the national identity building and commemorative politics with their narratives in both Abanian and Kosovar society. But juxtaposing the young contemporary art scenes of Albania and Kosovo does enable us to trace a line – between communism, old and new ideologies, Albania, Kosovo and Albanian. “This Is Not a Palm Tree” highlights how local representatives of this art scene analytically, cleverly and ironically deconstruct state dictated memories and identities in a formally convincing manner, and thereby make their art contribute to future discourses within local image politics.
In collaburation with MAPS Museum of Art in Public Space
“Outside drums”, it is performance with 5 dancers embodying a process of translating archival turn of the century images of rural Albania into an urban contemporary moment. The project is an initiative by Josseline Black and Anni Taskula in collaboration with MAPS - Museum of Art in Public Space, Austrian Embassy and with University of Arts.
Choreography: JOSSELINE BLACK AND ANNI TASKULA Dancer: AKREOMA SALIU FJORALD DOCI ROBERT NOA MELISA BEQOVIC ROSELLA PELLICCIOTTI
In collaburation with Mobile Albania 1-2-3
Radio Coli is the first part of the collaborative international project: Radio Europe â€“ under construction. Radio Coli is an analogue radio, a wandering coffeehouse. It moved for four weeks through the city of Tirana and stopped in different spots and squares to offer coffee and make an open analogue broadcast. Do you want to stay or leave? What makes you move? Where are you locating yourself in your city, your village, in Europe, the world, the cosmos? Whom do you want to connect with? Who is Coli? Coli was a boy living at Sheshi Bukureshti in Tirana. He lived alone and sold turtles to survive. He died under strange circumstances. Coli became a legend, used by the fashist regime as well the communist. Coli is many. Coli connects contradictions. For people he still is a symbol of hope and the struggle to survive. When we went to Sheshi Bukureshti for the first time we listened to many different stories about Coli and to the question: Who is Coli today? Radio Coli is a communication pole which starts walking. Radio Coli is an analogue radio. Radio Coli learns from the street. It turns the city squares into a medium. Residents and passersby become senders, receivers, transmitters. 1-2-3 - we leave the international network of media companies. We cut the cables. The radio makes random noise. The square tunes in.Miredita, hier spricht Radio Zoli, pershendetje flet Coli! A wandering coffeehouse, Radiowellen, ju uroj nje transmetim e mire se radios! Can you hear us? Who is speaking? We are standing on the wire! Wir wĂźnschen Ihnen einen guten Empfang! Proudly presented by Mobile Albania 1-2-3, the telecommunication company. We want to be connected. In collaboration with MIZA galeri, Radio Travel Tirana and Pa Fokus magazine.
CONFERENCES & PRESENTATION
23 April 2014
21 July 2014
ART AND BOOK FAIR , paMUR
ART / ANTHROPOLOGY
PRESENTATION BY SOFIA KALO
Miza presented in the first edition of “paMUR” (the book and art fair) the space and its operation in the first two years. Also in this activity any space for visual arts in Albania introduce an artist who was in competition for the “Danish Jukniu” prize. MIZA Gallery was represented by Irgin Sena with his video “It Started Started Started Somehow”.
Social anthropologist Sofia Kalo held a seminar where shared with the albanian audience a part of her doctoral thesis. Her research was focused mainly on the development of art in Albania after 90’s and the most important events that have marked this period.
16 April 2015
21 – 24 April 2016
DISCUSSION ON MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION
How can artistic projects represent the unrepresented and illuminate the experiences of excluded communities? The artist-run space PASAJ work in the Tarlabasi neighbourhood, a historic area in the centre of Istanbul that has always been a home for monorities suffering from discrimination by Turkish authorities and the wider socety. The artist-run space MIZA presents artists who discuss the experiences of Albanian immigrants in their new countries of residence.
Miza was part of the first edition of “SARA ART FAIR 2015” in Sarajevo where she presented 4 video by Endri Dani, Ilir Kaso, Ledia Kostandini and Olson Lamaj. “SARA ART FAIR” proposes a new platform that how can survive an art fair in the Balkan region.
Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina
SUPERMARKET 2015 STOCKHOLM INDEPENDENT ART FAIR
SARA ART FAIR SARAJEVO ART FAIR 2015
16 - 19 April 2015
18 - 22 January 2016
For the second time MIZA took part in SUPERMARKET - Stockholm Independent Art Fair. SUPERMARKET is a platform for the newest, most vital and innovative contemporary art. With over 80 international artist-run art fair for artistrun galleries and other artists initiatives from 30 countries worldwide. It is the single largest international art event in Scandinavia. In the 10th edition of this fair MIZA presented some works of the artist Enkelejd Zonja.
MIza had been part of the 5 day workshop in Istambul ,18th - 22nd of January 2016 at TAK (Kadıköy). Unblocking and exploring the new ways of cooperation and solidarity, through shared analysis of the political, economic and artistic situation to lead to concrete cross-cultural projects between independent actors Organized by RCE (Paris) with local organisers Terra Musica (Istanbul) and amberPlatform (Istanbul) in collaboration with Bunker (Ljubljana) NGO’s, culture managers, artists and activists from France, Great-Britain, Morocco, Albania, Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia, Slovenia and Turkey.
SUPERMARKET 2016 STOCKHOLM INDE PENDENT ART FAIR
23 - 24 July 2016
12-14 October 2016
Miza was happy to be part of “Autostrada Biennale”, very constructive conference in Prizren about the impact of a new biennale in Balkan region. We wish good luck for the process of materialization of a new Biennale.
Miza was part of the syposium change of scene. Reframing cooperation. We presented the project Radio Coli and effects that had this workshop Albanian reality.
SYMPOSIUM CHANGE OF SCENE. REFRAMING COOPERATION