On January 16, 2024, Harabel inaugurated “Gur” (Stone), an exhibition with the participation of Blendi Shahu, Burim Tafilica, Daniela Vuksani, Enza Rripaj and Sara Ferhati, curated by Edison Çeraj, at Harabel’s exhibition space, “GurGur” gallery in Petrela.

“Every stone is precious, as long as it exists, as long as it fills a certain place, regardless of how aware we are of it, regardless of our adventure with the hierarchy of values, regardless of our memory and forgetfulness.

There are values ​​that have no price, and there are prices that show no value.

The stone is one of those elements of creation/nature that contains some symbols, some messages. Before being a solid mineral substance, it is a sign, and as such it represents something that transcends its mineral nature, like anything in nature. Without this dimension,  according to Conrad, even nature seems unnatural.

Nature is lonely to the point of sadness without man, without his steps, without wonder, without his smile that connects the earth and the sky. Nature suffers from the thrill of mystery, so it wants to share it with us, or pass it on to us. She knows we carry this weight; she knows that it is this weight that makes us who we are.”


“Phraseological units, but also other elements of the idiomatics of a language, are combinations of linguistic units, at the same time also a combination of concepts, which describe the different sides of a thing, phenomenon, in the mental reality of a people, which generally has a name. As elements of the lexicon, they are related to elements of the mental, spiritual and cultural world of a certain community.” (Teuta Toska, in “Word Landscapes”, 2023)

One of the symbolics of “stone” that has to do with gravity, or rather with stability, can be found in the phraseological unit “a heavy stone weighs in its place”, which is used as a metaphor for man, as a reminder that no place can be like home (homeland), no matter how we interpret the latter. The expression clearly seems to mark the spiritual aspect, or the metaphysical well-being, since the one who is away from home is haunted by the weight of being a foreigner, despite the fact that materially he may be doing way better than in his own country.

It’s been a while since a stone

fell from the mountain

and treaded only the seedlings of the beeches

and then he rested heavily on me…


Thou who pass before me

do not notice with curiosity

the building of my feelings,

but feel the stone resting on me

and estimate its weight

on your chest.[1]

Another phraseological unit of Albanian where the word Gur (stone) is used is the one that the following idiom alludes  “gur, gur bahet mur” (stone by stone, a wall is built), an expression that reminds us of patience, continuity, non-surrender, waiting, persistence, self-denial and so on.

So, any thing, big or small, cannot be achieved with a magic wand, but step by step, stone by stone until it takes the shape or size that is worth it, that fulfills us, that convinces us.

Today there is a massive tendency, even with the mediation of social networks, to become famous, rich or an artist within (the magic of) the night, which contains a strong ontological glitch for the individual caught in this refuge with many bushes of disappointment, as well as a test for the society that needs to face the noisy training of an army with “models of success”.

The expression “stone by stone, a wall is build ” tells us that the road may be long, but the destination will also be a remarkable achievement.

In this case, the stone also alludes to connectivity, as a connector, which takes value only when it is intertwined with others to the right and left, up and down, and still remains unique, just like every person in relation to society.

There’s also the corner stone, or the foundation stone, as a beginning, as the basis of something, as the sine qua non element of a certain development.

Also, another important meaning that the stone brings to our mind is in the denomination “border stone”. In this case, for the vast majority of people, the sensitivity is high, since we’re talking about property, about the ownership of a certain surface of land, which has brought and brings humanity very big and often terrible problems.

Thus, the “invention” of the boundary stones was born to mediate and avoid the collision, because by means of these stones, peoples and nations have sublimated their agreement about what belongs to them and what does not.

Stone is also the great missing piece in the cities of our time, especially in the developed cities, which are becoming more and more stylish with materials from the most different industries, sometimes rare and sometimes ecological, sometimes decorative and sometimes functional, sometimes mock-up and sometimes minimalist, but for the stone in its raw, “wild” form, it is hard to find a place. The trees have not faced the same fate, on the contrary, even though they may be fruitless, many officials from all over the planet are competing to add more of them to their greedy harem, where the cult of the trunk body embarrasses even Achilles himself.

We must also take into consideration the other side of the medal with the following phrases: “stone-hearted”, ” won’t give you a stone to hit your head” (avarice), “I give you bread and you pay back with stones ” (ingratitude), “petrifaction”, “may they turn into stone” ( curse), “take it out of the stone” (ability), “stone in the shoe” (annoyance), “may he struggle with stones and wood” (prayer) and many other uses in negative or critical contexts.

Undoubtedly, there are other researches and “translations” that can be made for the word “Stone” not only as a natural formation, but also a cultural one.

Above all, of first importance is the spark (there are stones that produce sparks) that the word “Stone” causes in each of the participants of this exhibition, because this is exactly what feeds the artistic diversity, which is so necessary at the time of artificial intelligence, even as a reminder to not forget natural intelligence.

“Try to breathe artificially!” (Leopardi)

Edison Çeraj

[1] Camaj, verses from the poem “Thou who pass”.