Bulevard Art and Media Institute opened the joint exhibition The Revolution of the City around its Dream, by the following artists: Alketa Ramaj, Driton Selmani, Lori Lako, Ledia Kostandini, Olson Lamaj, Remijon Pronja dhe Stefano Romano. The exhibition was curated by Stefano Romano, in collaboration with Remijon Pronja and stayed open from March 24 to April 12, 2022.
The exhibition The Revolution of the City around its Dream brings together these artists, who through their art are always in the continuous chase and need to re-know the development of the urban spaces and places. The artists are represented with works of different mediums, such as photography, sculpture, video-installations, installations and short movies, through which they question different utopian possibilities, treating them in a symbolic point of view, which crosses art in relation to the representative image of the city.
*Olson Lamaj (b. 1985) is an Albanian artist living and working in Tirana. His work investigates social and political issues related both to contemporary life in Albania and to more universal and timeless systems of meaning extending beyond immediate conditions. In this exhibition Olson Lamaj introduces his film The Goldfinch.
The Goldfinch documents the premises of the villa that belonged to Dictator Enver Hoxha, as the camera lens is guided through a bird. The Goldfinch is a bird that is often kept in cages and it’s different from other bird species because of his beautiful voice. The villa in the video is defined as a bird cage from which the birds try to escape, thus being able to survive without their owner. This film also examines the connection between the internal contexts and dictatorial regimes.
*Lori Lako (born 1991) lives and works in Italy. Her works have been exhibited in many gallery spaces both inside and outside the country.
Lori Lako presented her video-installation entitled: On fog, blur and other uncertainties, where somewhat metaphysical images of the city appear, vague and unidentifiable. Towards the end of the video, two individuals appear holding a transparent white cloth that created a kind of blurry filter in the previous images, while the lens expands and highlights this performance act.
*Remijon Pronja (born 1984). He had three personal exhibitions and participated in a series of joint exhibitions inside and outside Albania and in this joint exhibition he presented a video installation.
Home is a video-installation which displays the image of an interior where the artist’s intervention is present. The intervention is made out of a LED light placed on the wall and it reads “home”; typical for festive days. But Home is also used ironically by implying that any environment can become Home in any other space that is existent for our needs, that is possible by just adding the sign (in this case the word “home”). The artist compares this paradoxical situation in a parallel with the luminosity of the used word.
*Driton Selmani approaches the idea of perceived reality by decomposing structures of social, political and cultural themes that are embodied around him. In this exhibition he presented his video-installation: These Stories.
These Stories shows footage of the Apollo 11 mission when Neil A. Armstrong first stepped on the moon and these images are accompanied by an audio narrative by Sadik Cena (a member of the artist’s family). Through this video the artist uses the language of narrative to tell that at the time when Neil A. Armstrong first stepped on the moon, the electricity grid arrived in his village in Kosovo. These Stories relate to the memory of two special events for the artist, questioning not only NASA’s lunar mission, but also giving importance to a different moment that was experienced in that same time frame.
*Ledia Kostandini (born 1983, Pogradec). In her creations she includes various media, mentioning: photography, painting, installation, public interventions and illustration.
The artist presented three installations in this exhibition: I look at them they look back at me (2019); Bath Tube (2019); Untitled (the cage balcony) (2019). These installations are realized in mixed techniques and they carry images and metaphors of the city and the life in it. Some of them recall situations of daily life and habits of the surrounding residents through video, installed in some wooden boxes. Bath Tube (2019) is a video-installation consisting of a tube with a video installed on the inside related to that same context. The concept of these installations focuses on the boundary between privacy and publicity, which are always intertwined and reconceptualized.
*Alketa Ramaj graduated in 2006 at the Academy of Arts in Tirana. Her work is distinguished by an inexhaustible curiosity and constant study of new forms of expression that reveal independence in the use of her own critical methods of work.
Rritëset – Rritësja 1 is a plaster sculpture in the shape of a supporting structure which performs its function only in relation to the tree, and if it is missing, this object remains a non-functional body. In this way, the artist pushes this practice aside, trying to give this structure an aesthetic and communicative value that has not been noticed before.
*Stefano Romano operates in visual artistic media of performance, installation, video and photography. His work is driven by the aim of presenting unexpected events and contradictions of everyday social reality.
The artist presented his ongoing photographic project, the Unfinished Archive. This archive consists of photographs that reflect small interventions into the public space from random situations, from a constant research that the artist does. These photos have been taken in different places and times since 2016 and their cycle is still going on. Photographed images take on a different value and concept through the small interventions that the artist makes, whether with a drawing, text or a print.