“The dreaming city” is a public art installation placed over the rooftop of a colored facade in the center of Tirana, visible not only from all streets around it, but as well from many high points of the city, magically popping out in the horizon, especially at night, when the rumorous landscape is less visible.

Visually it is a big white cloud which seems to be a single-body sculpture, but it is created by the 3D over-positioning of different sized satellite dishes, vertically suspended in high metal poles. Each of the satellite dishes is lightened by a lamp. The sculpture is very big and heavy, only metal made. Sounds industrial and cold, but it looks highly dreamy and surrealistic, especially at night. Looking at it becomes addictive.

For the extremely isolated communist Albania of before ’91, the outside world could only be dreamt. Zero connection to the outside world. Hand-made illegal satellites were used to try to catch a scent of foreign TV stations, as a portal to those dreams which somewhere were reality. One of the very first new urban objects that started to invade Albania’s skies after the fall communism were in fact satellite dishes of all sizes, as a visual expression of the insatiable curiosity towards The Other World, of the desire and need to be part of that world. They still do invade Albania’s skies, often just as forgotten corpses we are used to, monuments to our open portal to the outside world we still long for.

On that note, Ledia Kostandini’s dreaming city is represented by satellite dishes forming a white cloud because a cloud represents a dream, or a future plan, a mind image standing between fiction and reality: visible, but untouchable.

As many of the dreams of the people of Tirana are, “The dreaming city” – mind the words – carries the spirit of Tirana.

There is a new cloud in town, which beautifully and brightly will temporarily stand over a rooftop, and after an undetermined time, translucent and illusionary as it is, it will disappear.

Just like clouds do.

Curatorial text by Ajola Xoxa

The Installation is part of the Public Spaces Re:claimed Project,  co-financed by the European Commission, under Creative Europe program.