During an almost strange period for the human life and activity (the Covid-19 pandemic), an unusual exhibition came into the art space. Under the name of “Colouring”, it conveyed the hidden childish desire of an adult, to be exactly as it is (a desire), without being influenced or scared by judgment, without causing influence by force. Colors exist! …and the world would not be this beautiful without their presence: this is the essence of the exhibition; it has no major purposes, but it insists on reminding us about the strength of the color in our every experience and every reflection of it. The exhibition came under the authorship of the artist Edison Çeraj and remained open to the followers of visual arts in gallery 70, in Tirana, between November 19th and December 13th 2020.
As an artist of different ways of expression, Edison Çeraj chose to be represented in the exhibition only through miniature painting, or more precisely, through colouring in a small format, as long as every little piece of this exhibition, was not defined in the genre of painting by him; simply, everything that is presented, constitutes a self-surrender in the world of colors, without thinking, without aiming, just a wander towards liberation, in order to go towards the light and to reflect its strength for every observer, whether a regular follower of the art or not.
The “Colouring” exhibition reminds us of the world of fairytales. In our consciousness they are full of colors and surprises, and we (as children from time to time) are fascinated by them even without understanding them (sometimes), even though in our unconsciousness they already left their mark, so they can be understood at a later stage in life, when life itself will have confronted us with the situation we are talking about in the meantime. So, all of this gives us a clarification regarding different beliefs: about those who come to us by force, especially through word and action (theories, ideologies), as well as about beliefs that are injected into our blood through the color (the spirit) and that flow spontaneously in it. This is it, the healthy conviction, the only one to which the man and the artist should “submit”; this seems to be the thought that is conveyed through this kind of exhibition.
The strongest point of the exhibition was precisely the insistence on reflecting the unconscious and raw side of the man and the artist at the same time, the desire to point out the time when the feeling excludes the reasoning and lets itself oscillate in the variety of colors, without worrying whether the work or the totality of the works in question are in accordance with the opinion that the representatives of the art world (and not only) have about the art in question or not. This is exactly what kills the work or the artist: the attempt to be in line with what is required; this is the challenge that the creator (the artist) must overcome. Therefore, instead of bringing what is “required, expected, needed” by others, he should allow himself to spring. And the exhibition resembles exactly a fountain without any purification (filter).
The exhibition may sound even as an invitation not only to a professional of this field, but also to a profane. Who could say that there is no living desire to navigate freely in colors in the first one (the professional)? Who could oppose the idea that something new and unexperienced before would not be awakened in the second one (the profane), evidently because of the action of colouring, even without a farsighted purpose?
The exhibition in question was in itself a nameless game (the paintings/colourings were unnamed), which tried to soften the artistic thought, behaving as a child not only on the choice of colors full of light, but also in the way/technique (more precisely, absence of technique, no mixing of colors, no refinement of shapes) with which they came. The artistic thought, in turn, generally tends to schematize the work, making it cold and distant. In contrast, the author of the exhibition himself tries to break free from his own self and from any similar surveillance outside of him. If the natural world is beautiful because of its color diversity, why should it make an exception from this color diversity that manifests itself through our characters and our way of experiencing? The exhibition can very well be described as a meeting with oneself, more precisely, with the former self, which, the more we grow, the more it gets away, therefore, the more we need to evoke it through color or any other form.
* Edison Çeraj was born on 28 August 1982 in Shkodra. He finished his studies in the Academy of Fine Arts (today University of Arts), where he currently lectures at the Atelier of Multimedia. He also holds a master degree in philosophy at the University of Tirana, Faculty of Social Sciences. His activities include three personal exhibitions: “In the research of the lost colours” (2008), “Optional Subject” (2014), “No-thing” (2016) and “Coloring” (2020). He participated in some other collective exhibitions as well. In the other hand, he had curated more than twelve exhibitions. According to his field of research, he wrote three books: “Art as a possibility” (Izabel, 2008), “Researches in the metaphysic of art” (Logos-A, 2012), and “The node of forgetfulness” (Logos-A, 2017). He is currently a lecturer at the University of Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts.