DREAMS COME TR
The video-installation DREAMS COME TR by Tekla Aslanishvili focuses on the specific development of the housing system in Albania that began after the collapse of communist regime in 1990 and emerged into an urban phenomenon characterized by oversized, unfinished houses in the suburbs of Tirana.
For her project, the artist invited several local families, living in half-completed houses, to take part in a collective family photograph framed by a unfinished housing unit located in Kombinat, the southwestern suburb of Tirana. The video that documents the photo shoot in process, is combined with the glowing inscription DREAMS COME TR, installed on the upper edge of the projection in order to (re)create the signboard aesthetics of the image. The incompleteness of the text emphasizes the failure of the post communist society’s response to “freedom” and liberalized economy.
The project DREAMS COME TR allows for an observation of the urban reality of Tirana through the lenses of its symptoms of drastic political and economical changes during the last decades. The wave of unfinished houses that emerged from the beginning of the 1990ies, can be read like accidental monuments, symbolizing collective dreams and disappointments of the society. In response, DREAMS COME TR offers a distinct glimpse on how the aspiration for individuality and pursuit of dreams has transformed into this unique public reality.
THEY ALL WAIT FOR ME TO PAY
THEY ALL WAIT FOR ME TO PAY is an attempt to connect the past and the present by using the format
of singing and story telling. The voice of the past incorporated in the unique form of Iso-Polyphonic
singing with the voice of the present expressed in the poetry of young poet Rubin Beqo, but also the
voice of all the people willing to articulate their opinions and positions regarding the current conditions and problems of their everyday life. THEY ALL WAIT FOR ME TO PAY is an attempt to think about the current conditions and the recent past, the turbulent times of changing systems, the loss or lack of
communication and understanding in the neoliberal context.
The project is developed in two stages. The first part is a collaboration of the Iso-Polyphonic* group
Ansambli Polifonik Demir Zyko and the young poet Rubin Beqo. The second part takes shape as an
event on the opening night of the exhibition PARTICIPATION – PARTICIPATORY PRACTICES AS
ARTISTIC STRATEGY that will gather all the people who want to take the chance to express their social
and political observations of the current condition in Albania by different forms of performances.
*Iso-Polyphonyc music is inspired by the archaic phenomenon of “crying” (“vajtim” in Albanian,) It is one
of the most important strands of the musical and cultural heritage of Albania. It is about people who speak and sing at the same time, that is, an important and unique part of the oral history of Albania.
Under the shade of the olive tree , by the junction of Lana bridge and Pazari i RI, surrounded by tray’s of cheese pastry, 2 ladies knit the rainbow, in size 43.
How to tame a social unease, how to domesticate what is considered off or out of the ordinary, or,
presumably, simply taken for non-existent? How to initiate an attitude change without patronizing or
threatening the traditional perceptions of right or wrong, black or white, how negotiate the in-betweens?
Could one start with “the feet” in order to reach the “heart” and the “mind” of the matter?
Drawing on her practice as a painter, the artist Edit Pulaj takes the colors of the LGBT flag as a point of departure for a commissioning of objects that are ready for function: traditional knitted slippers, a familiar and characteristic object of Albanian home. Discharging the prominent rainbow flag from its original symbolic content, Pulaj extracts the colors Pink | Red | Orange | Yellow | Green | Indigo | Blue one by one in order to splash them over the city, tagging with generous randomness the markets, back alleys, beaches or football fields.
The slippers that range in size and colors only reveal their original reference point if displayed together, in their collectivity. As singular objects however, they develop a “private life” of their own. Following a strategy of integration rather than persuasion, Pulaj is keen to let the object out of hands. The emphasis of PINK PARTISANS does not lay on the actual decryption of the LGTB flag, but on the fact that the slippers will find their way into the Albanian homes of today as objects of utility, with each of them carrying a story in their own right. It’s eventual becoming – a tool against homophobia, a merchandise article, an urban legend, a tourist souvenir – is tendentious.
(Stefano Romano / Itali, Eriselda Çobo / Shqipëri, Guido Affini / Itali)
VOID³ is based on some keywords that are currently swirling through our minds which are: void, full,
pressure, occupation, claim. Furthermore, the inspiration came from David Harvey’s book on Capitalism
against “the right to the city” in which the British Marxist theorist observes that land use is the largest and most effective chance for capital to expand and create surplus value thanks to the huge opportunities for speculation this field offers. Harvey also states that all major economic crises that have hit the western system arose from the crisis in the construction sector. By mixing these considerations and the various terms we had in mind we came up with the idea to realize an artwork about full and empty space. We have structured the work in two opposite and consequent moments, the “full” and the “void” mixed together through an action and a sound. The performance consists in continuously inflating, deflating, and re-inflating a (red) balloon so that the performers’ lung capacity becomes a metaphor of their right and ability to assert a personal living space, one’s own piece of land. The balloon becomes a metaphor for the physical space that each of us occupies within the city. The act of inflating and deflating the balloon and the effort of repeating this action over and over again is also accompanied by the sound of breathing that eventually becomes gasping and by the sound of the air coming out of the balloon when it’s deflating and which is part of the construction of the sound of full and void. The sound literally plays these two moments, in a symbolic and abstract composition that is intertwined with the video in a constant oscillating movement. We worked redoubling and indenting the sound in such a way to highlight once more the full/void concept, capturing the emotions on performers’ faces. It is like if it emerged the inner rhythm of the performers, the heartbeat, and the thought which are never in agreement to the biological rhythm. It is if the physical effort speeded up the inner rhythm.
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE!
The Balkans is known to be a coffee culture – a culture that revolves around coffee drinking – where
coffeehouses are seen as social, artistic and intellectual hubs. While, in many urban centers it is common
to see several coffeehouses within walking distance of each other, in Tirana one sees them within
pausing distance. But, at this time in Tirana there is more to the coffee than just socializing.
It is election time. And, polls have a lot of say about the future of the masses. They determine if, one gets to keep or, lose his job overnight. Although, the economic future of the masses remains very uncertain, locals have a way of looking into it while, enjoying a nice cup of coffee. They read their futures in the grains of a Turkish coffee residue. If, the grains are red they have nothing to worry about; and if, they are black well, tomorrow’s cup might read better.
This participatory project is a reflection of the country’s current situation. In an attempt to express a
nation-wide post-election anxiety, the artist announced free coffee-cup reading sessions to the general
public. Although, the participants were informed the artist did not have any coffee-cup reading skills and
that for the most part the reading would entail making-up stories, there was a lot of public participation
interest on this project.
DAVID WITHOUT GOLIATH
Any action causes a reaction and each reaction builds a relationship. In this case, DAVID WITHOUT
GOLIATH is a performative action, which will be held during the opening of exhibition involving and
excluding the public on it. Everything starts from a very simple, but at the same time violent gesture of
throwing an object toward someone. The performance will take place only when the audience meets the
artwork and the artwork meets the audience.