On June 30th Zeta Gallery opened the exhibition “Heterotopias of Resistance”, curated by Blerta Hoçia. The exhibition, which will remain open until August 2020, presents the artworks (video and installations) of 7 artists (from 4 countries of the region), works which are the result of artistic research during the residence program “Resistance”, that took place in Tirana, organized by Zeta Center and supported by the Swiss Cultural Fund Albania (SCFA), a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The participating artists and their respective artworks are: Lori Lako (AL), “Everything was forever until it was no more” (video); Edona Kryeziu (KS), “Windows without exit”, (video); Fatlum Doçi (AL), “Future city”, (installation); Natasha Nedelkova (MV), “Identity Tissues” (video); Nikolche Slavevski (MV), “Compositions in G major”, (two videos); Nina Galic (RS), “Together alone”, (installation); Darko Vukic (RS), “Where is the context”, (installation);
Heterotopia arises as a necessity – as the creation of new, perfect spaces to replace old spaces already mastered by new, often unacceptable rules. Today, the prevailing space of this kind is exactly the space offered by internet , which contains and reflects the strongest attitude in the face of opposition to this new oppression, an attitude driven by many indicators and mainly by the Covid-19 pandemic. The artists’ research coincided precisely with the Covid-19 pandemic, a time which of course was generally permeated by insecurity and anxiety. The feeling of surveillance, after the prohibition of social activity, caused numbness, cessation of thought, which soon gave way to self-defense, as a confrontation to the denial of human rights, even though these restrictions came / come in the name of protecting human life. The artworks of all artists are in themselves a kind of resistance to time and circumstances; a kind of awareness-raising act for society.
Thus, the occasional documentation of silent alleys in her birthplace, watched over as if from an observation tower is what draws attention at Lori Lako. In this diary of images of a limiting time, the only feeling of freedom is reflected in the character of the wanderer. The artist Kryeziu chooses billboards as the headlines of her work. They are the “windows” placed between the Palace of Sports and the “Newborn” monument, windows which lead nowhere, but stand in between as a sign of resistance and are painted white as a sign of resumption. While Fatlum Doçi brings clay sculptures in very small dimensions which create the impression of lodges-islands in space; however, through these cell-houses (without doors), in addition to the thought of the physical limitation of the human being, is conveyed as well the warning of the loss of spiritual consciousness.
Natasha Nedelkova comes up with a video that conveys the feeling of a silent resistance where personal and shared experiences are intertwined. As masks (hypocrisy) give way to each other, humor and cynicism are present in the video as a form of confrontation. Whilst Slavevski, through his two videos, brings news that caused confusion and then dissatisfaction in human society, which inevitably felt deceived as it faced untrue images that contradicted each other. The installation of the artist Galiç is a reflection of the data about the protests that took place around the world, starting from 2001 until today. The data, in the form of numbers and symbols, reveal man’s resistance to power in every space and at any time. The installation of the artist Vukiç is an ironic reflection on society, which causes itself closed states with no way out. “Emergent productivity in the time of production emergency”; it is this expression printed on the wall, which sums up his form of resistance in the exhibition.
Thus, resistance – otherwise: sustainability – is an inherent human, social and in this case artistic reaction to any governing decision or social phenomenon which goes against the principles created and accepted by the intellect and civic morality. It is precisely the restriction of freedom which made that the fear for life to be accompanied by the fear of freedom and the social reaction, mainly in international level, comes as a result of the open manifestation of the might of power towards different social strata.
As a special feature of this exhibition in its opening evening we can mention the presence of artists, not physically, but through the internet connection. The authors could observe the audience; while the latter could observe the exhibited artworks and interact with the artists as well.