On May 7, 2024, Harabel inaugurated “The shape of absence”, a solo exhibition of Artan Marku, curated by Harabel, at the “GurGur” gallery in Petrela.

For Artan Marku, this is the most signicant exhibition of his artistic journey—he says so himself, perhaps because in a way it is his rst, or at least, the rst after his decision to no longer dedicate his life to sculpture. Thus, he abandoned sculpture for more than a year, but it seems sculpture did not abandon him, appearing in his dreams, deformed, piece by piece. Almost unconsciously, he began sculpting again and in response to this nocturnal command, which makes this exhibition more a translation of an emotional necessity than a career decision. This entire exhibition is a genesis, and if the decision to shape mythology (whether humanity’s mythology or the home’s one) was primal, the choice to use basic materials was deliberate: clay, charcoal, pencil on paper; without considering how foreign eyes might view these works, but as a gesture of freedom, an open door to the artist’s inner darkness. A kind of rebellion of the hands against the mind’s decision to quit sculpture: a solid testament of the inner self. In these instances, when the body knows itself what must be done, the hands begin to create the form, but it is the imagination that nishes it. And the hands stop. Thus, the work remains without an arm, without a leg, without a body, missing the pieces that would make it so perfect it wouldn’t be perfect, because its deciencies allow for a human kind of perfection. And just as the sculptures lack parts of limbs, the drawings lack frames, because Marku no longer feels the need for conformity, he desires only freedom, the self-suciency of a work that is and remains incomplete. What a beautiful liberation!

Ajola Xoxa