“The room of the missing steps” is the exhibition of Gazmend Leka, currently in show at FAB Gallery (University of the Arts, Tirana). The exhibition is curated by Ermir Hoxha and is open to the public from October 7th until November 3rd, 2019.


The exhibition in question is a thematic continuation of the author’s other exhibitions, where at the same time he is at their centre. He presents himself multiplied, as the punisher and the punished; not only present as a child (innocent), but also as an observer (with due responsibility) examining the path traversed all the way to this point: the inevitable contamination of the human being and the urgent need for purification, a purification which the author enables by extremely punishing himself in the picture, placing himself from one torture device to the another; typical tortures, used in the Medival Ages during the Inquisition.

Throughout his journey, man has used bodily harm as a way to save the soul, as an inevitable ransom to pay. Therefore, the essence of the exhibition in question is self-cleansing, which is by no means done without inflicting pain. Self-examination and also self-punishment are a characteristic of Gazmend Leka’s creativity and represent the axis around which everything else revolves. The author seeks harmony within his soul first through prayer (the preceding exhibition) and then deepening this claim into a bloody form of retribution (present exhibition).

The red colour dominates the whole exhibition. The resembling figures in Gazmend Leka’s kaleidoscope carry the same man, over-strained in different ways. The language by which the author chooses to express himself sounds mystical; just as in the circles of hell, where the torment is endless. In the exhibition in question the same atmosphere whirls around, a state which includes the curiosity about the way man is created from within, how does sin arise within him, the interacting ability with the universe as well?

The haloed infant in the exhibition who almost unknowingly sees nothing. The child in the picture is the next victim of himself and the question arises: How could all this transformation, from innocence to sin happen? In all the anatomical examination that the painter performs not only on his own body and soul, but that of the human being in general, despite being frank, the tragedies remain nameless. So the essence of his drama is legible for the hardship, but indefinable (for where it comes from). However, the struggle within him needs to be visible. Worthy of Eden once in his childhood and already in exile from it now, man needs the mask as the artist tries to tweak it, as long as the steps cannot be mastered.

* Gazmend Leka was born on October 11th, 1953 in Tirana. In 1978 he completed his studies at the Academy of Arts and a year later began working as an associate in designing and realizing the interior of the Gjergj Kastrioti – Skënderbeu Museum in Kruja, which ended in 1982. For a period of 10 years, 1981-1991, he becomes artistic director of animated films at film studio “New Albania” working as a director. In 1991 he started working as a lecturer at the University of Arts former Academy of Arts. The National Gallery of Art preserves 37 of his art work in painting and graphics. Over 400 other works are enjoyed and appreciated in private collections in Albania, America, France, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Holland, Spain, Canada and Japan.