Archive for the ‘European artists reflecting history’ Category

The opening 29.11.2009

November 2, 2009

Photos from the opening

The main area

History books intallation

The opening speach

The opening speach

Zuzanna Skiba`s room installation

Roland Albrecht`s room installation

Ledias Kostandini`s room installation

Beatrice Minda`s room

Gabriela Volanti`s room installation

Albrecht Schäfer`s room installation

Jin Lie´s room installation

Nikolin Bujari´s installation at first and second floor

History books installation

Jakup Ferri´s video work

Petrit Kumi´s rooms

Peggy Meinfelder´s installation

Kamen Stoyanov Photos

Istvan Laszlo´s Video Installation

Armando Lulaj´s video

Video interviews with the artists

Peggy Meinfelder´s drawings at the bar of the Hotel

Live by Top Channel Albania


European artists reflecting history

October 18, 2009

20 years is a long time, but also not very long at all

Museums, Galleries and state-run institutions are normally the only locations used for cultural events in Albania. The exhibition »feedback 1989« takes place in the space of the former Hotel Dajti. This cult-like building, positioned at one of the most strategic places of the capital, has witnessed many eras, regimes, political systems and transformations that have transgressed in Albania and that have changed its utilization over time. The transitions that Albania has experienced in the past 20 years could not but impact in a drastic way this prestigious hotel, property of the state and in service of the regime; with the future change of the owners it seems as if even its function will change, but in fact this building will after a renovation welcome foreign delegations visiting Albania and will be in its future »reincarnation« the Ministery of Foreign Affairs: the place where foreign policy will be made. When I reentered this building in the beginning of 2009 I was surprised that this place (which until 2005 had still functioned as a hotel) was destroyed and deformed in such a short time. Nevertheless, the ballroom in the first floor of the hotel has kept its grandeur and magical quality – despite the destruction. In this hall eight artists from Eastern Europe and Germany present their work. Since 1989 the process of systematic change from communism to democracy brought along social and economic change. Phenomena such as privatisation, freedom of travel and emigration, construction boom and free market capitalism appeared immediately, creating thus a great contrast to life before the 1990’s. It is particularly these developments of the last 20 years the participating artists make visible. Employing memory, they recreate, revisit, and reproduce different moments and phenomena of history. Some of the works refer directly to historical events, some are connected to personal experiences and histories. Memory plays an important role in the perception of various historical events. In a person’s memory, information is not saved automatically, but it is always connected to situations, feelings, people and places. Whenever we try to remember a fact, an event or a person, all experiences and sensations that are related to it come up to our mind. The artists include those sensations and personal colorings in their creations. Thus, the artwork can transmit historical facts and various phenomena from a personal level and experience, making these issues and facts acceptable for the public. In this manner, a human and personal exchange is opened instead of an institutional or official one, what makes it is easier to identify with the contextual work. Many of the artists who live and work in the countries of Eastern Europe have a strong interest for the themes that deal with their recent past and the phenomena that are still present as a result of history and change. This strong link to the national context can be seen as an obstacle in the inclusion in today’s kind of global art. But if we try to see it from the perspective of a general history and specifically of art history, it is a kind of documentation of the time in which these artists live. These art works will serve as examples from which to write our common history. This project is an opportunity for the albanian public in Albania to see a broad spectrum of works these artistic works which are not part of a collection or a museum that they could visit easily. We tried to respond to the demands of the local context by bringing as well artists from the region as internationally recognized artists in order to present some few positions of European contemporary art. With this catalogue, a blog and press releases the project is as well visible for the interested public who is not able to come to see the exhibition. Today we find ourselves about 20 years after the big wave of change that started in 1989. 20 years are very few seen from the perspective of human history, but 20 years are quite a lot from the perspective of a person’s lifetime. This exhibition can only show a very small part of the artistic production of this period, but the exhibited works do at least reflect important streamings from the last two decades.
Adela Demetja

Istvan Laszlo / Untitled (R89)

October 18, 2009

Istvan Laszlo
Untitled (R89), Video loop 3’00”, 2007–2009

istvan laszlo
Romanian artist Istvan Laszlo’s video not only deals with the revolution of 1989, but at the same time it’s about the functionality of human memorisation. Based on a single image he creates a film: a photograph from December 1989, meanwhile an icon, is dissolving more and more. If it is because of dispersed dust or because of a clouded mode of memory stays open. The photo shows a military vehicle, occupied by civilists who are swaying flags and gesturing wildly. They are crowded together, highly agitated, involuntary the painting Medusa’s raft from Gericault comes up to mind (the ikon of the French revolution) and you can hardly hear them scream. Istvan Laszlo’s video analyses the way we relate to history through photo video remakes/documentation and the way that history can be distorted and reinterpreted, understood and misunderstood through photo video documentation. It also comments on the Romanian revolution and the media‘s power to manipulate the masses.

Istvan Laszlo
Born in 1981 in Tirgu Mures, Romania. Lives and works
in Dublin, Ireland and Tirgu Mures, Romania.
2004–06 New Media Technology College, Dublin,
Ireland 1999–03 University of Art & Design, Cluj, Romania
Solo exhibition:
2002 Grandma in the city, Atash Gallery, Cluj, Romania
Selected group exhibitions:
2009 Preset Adjustments, Plan B Gallery, Berlin ››› Track
Changes, Wilkinson Gallery, London, Great Britain ›››
Portraits of the Artists as Young Artists, andreianamihailgallery,
Bucharest, Romania 2008 Show 1, Plan-B
Gallery, Berlin, Germany ››› On The Spot, Anaid Gallery,
Bucharest, Romania 2006 Darklight, VU Space,
Melbourne, Australia ››› Darklight, Dublin
2004 Art for the masses, Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu,
Romania ››› Art for the masses, Protokoll, Cluj, Romania
››› Biennale de Paris 2003 Docu-Fiction, University of
Architecture, Bucharest, Romania ››› Re:location 4,
Casino Luxembourg ››› Re: location 2, Cluj / Linz,
Austria ››› Inflexible Clash, Institute of Contemporary
Art, Dunaujvaros, Hungary 2002 Coleurs Locale,
Fortress Gallery, Targu Mures, Romania ››› Super Us /
Supernova, Casa Matei, Cluj, Romania ››› Supernova,
Sindan Cultural Center, Cluj, Romania ››› Supernova,
Atash Gallery, Cluj, Romania ››› A.E., Casa Tranzit, Cluj,

Stephan Balkenhol / Frau (woman)

October 18, 2009

Stephan Balkenhol
Frau (woman), relief, cottonwood, 240 × 102 × 14 cm, 2000

stephan balkenhol2
Stephan Balkenhol is not only present at numerous international exhibitions with his sculptures, but many of his works are displayed in the public space all over the world. They always bear relation to the place where they are located, often with a subtle humour. Contrary to the common trend of abstraction in Western art since the 70’s, the sculptor concentrated from the outset on figurative works which he mostly covers with color. Despite their monumental size, they are by no means like the monumental memorial art that was still common in socialist countries at that time. The characters the artist portrays are no celebrities, not even beauties. They are people like you and me, just normal, »carved from simple wood«. At Enver Hoxha’s time they surely wouldn’t have had access to Hotel Dajti … In this exhibition, the relief »woman« (which has a counterpart, »man«), represents the observer, the contemporary witness. She looks at all events with a certain imperturbability, knowing that she won’t change the course of the world.

Stephan Balkenhol

Born in 1957 in Fritzlar, West-Germany. Lives and works
in Meisenthal, France, Karlsruhe and Berlin, Germany
Education: 1976–82 Academy of Arts, Hamburg
(Prof. Rückriem)
Teaching experience:
1988–89 Academy of Arts, Hamburg 1990–91
Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main since 1992
Professor for sculpture, Academy of Arts, Karlsruhe
Selected solo exhibitions:
2007 Museum der Moderne, Salzburg ››› Kabinett für
Aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven ››› PAC, Milano ››› Gallery
Forsblom, Helsinki ››› Gallery Tomio Koyama, Tokio
2006 Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden ››› Regen
Projects. Los Angeles ››› Galleri Bo Bjerggaard,
Kopenhagen ››› MKM Duisburg 2005 The National
Museum of Art, Osaka ››› Galería Pepe Cobo, Madrid
2004 Galería OMR, Mexiko-City 2003 Le rectangle.
Lyon ››› Sprengel Museum, Hannover 2002 Galerie
Pepe Cobo, Sevilla (regularly since 2002) 2001
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de
Compostela Galería ››› OMR, Mexiko-City ››› Fries
Museum, Leeuwarden ››› Museum der Bildenden
Künste, Leipzig ››› Dogenhaus Galerie, Leipzig
2000 The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
Recent group exhibitions:
2007 works on paper, Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich ›››
Sculpture Grande Prague 07 ››› 10. Triennale Kleinplastik,
Fellbach 2006 La Force de l’art, Grand Palais, Paris
2005 Karlsruher Figuration, Würth collection, Arlesheim

Nikolin Bujari / Slogans

October 18, 2009

Nikolin Bujari
Slogans, installation, dimensions flexible

nikolin bujari
Albania experienced one of the most brutal dictatorships in Europe, with the country totally isolated on every front. The Communist system made ideological visual images omnipresent using slogans that were placed on central and cultural spaces: »Albania is a granite stronghold«, »Glory to PPSH«, »Glory to Marxism and Leninism«, »Agriculture is an issue for all«, »Eight hours of work not eight hours at work« etc. After the 1990s the desire to be European was uncontrollable. Among some of the more powerful slogans of the time were: »Freedom and Democracy«,»We want Albania to be like all of Europe«, and the more recent ones being »Bush, great friend of the Albanians«, »Albania in NATO«, »Albania in the EU«, »Albania is changing«, etc. Nikolin Bujari will install some of these slogans from both periods in various places, shapes, and sizes in the spaces of the Hotel Dajti.

Nikolin Bujari
Born in 1984 in Tirana, Albania. Lives and works in Tirana.
1998–02 »Prenke Jakova« Art High School in Shkodra,
Albania 2002–06 Academy of Fine Arts, Tirana (Prof.
Edi Hila) 2006-07 guest student at HfG, Karlsruhe,
Germany (Prof. Mischa Kuball)
Selected exhibitions:
2008 my space 01. Tirana–Berlin, Gallery of the Academy
of Fine Arts, Tirana ››› my space 03. Tirana–Berlin, Haus
am Lützowplatz, Berlin, Germany 2007 Pa(varesia), National
Gallery of Arts, Tirana ››› Hila-Kuball, National Gallery
of Arts, Tirana ››› International MitOst-Festival, Görlitz,
Germany ››› Media art exhibition 1234567, HfG, Karlsruhe,
Germany ››› Video installation of 1A18 Plattform, lothringer
13/Spiegel, Munich, Germany 2006 AMC prize for contemporary
art, Tirana ››› Urban action »Bus-stop«, 1-60 insurgentspace,
Tirana ››› Tirana Transfer, Badischer Kunstverein,
Karlsruhe, Germany ››› Ap 1+1, private apartment,
Tirana ››› Searching the videoart, Galeria e vogël, Tirana
2005 Tirana Bienale 3, in collaboration with Andreja Kuluncic,
Tirana ››› Performance with Salvadore Falci, Skenderbeu
square, Tirana ››› Exhibition at Kunsthochschule
Kassel, Germany ››› One minute video exhibition, Piramida,
Tirana ››› The sight does not let the things unchanghed, art
Gallery, Shkodra, Albania
2008 Residency at , Graz, Austria 2007
Gueststudent at Badischer Kunstverein/HfG, Karlsruhe
2006 Cross Kick, Tirana-Transfer, Tirana, Albania
››› First prize for contemporary art, Albania (AMC prize)

Uros Djuric / God loves the dreams of the Serbian Artists

October 18, 2009

God loves the dreams of the Serbian Artists, C-prints, each 30 × 40 cm, 1992–today

uros djuric
The referential idea in the creation of the Populist project was based on the thesis that Populism has these days become the supreme ideology, replacing the well-known Social Utopias. As we all know, Communism and Socialism have lost their battle. After the total defeat of Eastern Bloc, the flag of social emancipation is in the hands of ›Declarative Democrats‹. Populism is becoming, in these new circumstances, the transparent territory for the promotion of the New Values. Its promotional territories were part of serious confrontations and/or links between upper and lower classes throughout the whole history of the 20th century, which comprised sports, sexual liberation movements and popular culture. Populist project tries to explore these territories and uses all of the three parts (segments) to pervert the fights for social, class and sexual emancipation. The first issue contains three different segments: God loves the Dreams of Serbian artists, Celebrities and Hometown Boys. Its intention was to show the interactions between star-system and identity, and it was realized as a web art project. In God loves the dreams of Serbian artists, which is shown
here, the artist was photographed together with the world’s most popular football players of today in the form of a new icon.

Uros Djuric
Born in 1964 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia.
Studied art history and painting in Belgrade. Took part
in Belgrade punk movement in the early Eighties (Urban
Guerrilla) 1989 foundation of the Autonomist (anti)
movement with Stevan Markuš 1994 they published
the »Autonomism Manifesto«. Appears in several feature
films & documentaries, graphic designer and DJ.
Founder of Remont gallery & art magazine. Since 1992
collaboration with Belgrade Radio B92.
Recent solo exhibitions:
2008 A Short View to the Populist Dreamland, Art Point
gallery, Vienna 2007 Pioneers, Heroes & Other
Dedicated Life-Long Decadents (+ Julia Kissina), 18m
Gallery, Berlin ››› 7 Steps to Power, New Moment Gallery,
Belgrade 2006 Return of the Dead Painter with New
Problems / part 2, SKC Gallery, Belgrade ››› Return of the
Dead Painter … / part 1, Zvono Gallery, Belgrade
Recent group exhibitions:
2009 On Normality. Art from Serbia 1989–2001,
Museum of Modern Art, Klagenfurt ››› On Normality, The
Katzen Arts Center at American University, Washington
DC 2008 Experimenta Folklore, Frankfurter Kunstverein
››› Mediations Biennale, Muzeum Narodowe, Poznan ›››
Walls in the Street, Siemens Art Programme / Museum of
Contemporary Art, Belgrade ››› Micro-narratives, Musée
d’Art moderne de Saint-Etienne 2007 Land of Promises,
Espace Apollonia, Strasbourg ››› Overexposures, The Art
Museum, Timisoara 2006 1:0, 18m Gallery, Berlin

Jakup Ferri / Two names

October 18, 2009

Jakup Ferri
Two names, Video, 15 min, 2008

jakup ferri
Jakup Ferri, one of the most successful Kosovo artists, uses himself as the subject of his works in the video. The topics treated in his works, simple and naive at first glance, are related to the world and the system of art in which the artist tries to position himself. During the last few years, Ferri has lived in different countries around Europe, facing different realities and existences by living as a nomad. The video Two Names was created in 2008. Guiding us through his home, the artist goes through his clothes trying to remember whether they were part of his journeys or not. The two »names« used in this video are »they have gone« or »they didn’t go« on the plane. These clothes shape a kind of memory mosaic and memories that the artist has taken with him from his home country, others from the place where he lives, and most of which travel with him around the world. The video creates a personal and warm atmosphere, though the life and movements of the artist remain anonymous.

Jakup Ferri
Born in 1981 in Prishtina, Kosova.
Lives and works in Amsterdam and Prishtina.
Education / Residencies:
2001–04 Academy of Arts, Prishtina. 2004 Cultural
City Network Graz, Austria. 2004 International
Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) New-York
2004 NIFCA, West Balkan Air, Rooseum Museum,
Malmo 2005 KulturKontakt Austria, Vienna 2007-08
Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.
Solo exhibitions:
2009 De Expeditie, Amsterdam ››› De Meerse, Hoofd-
dorp 2006 Artists Space, New York ››› Galerie Adler,
Frankfurt am Main ››› 1.60insurgent space, Tirana.
Selected group exhibitions:
2009 Coalesce: Happenstance, Amsterdam ››› Standard
of living , Graz ››› 28th Graphic Bienalle, Ljubl-
jana ››› Niet Normaal, van Berlage, Amsterdam 2008
Buning Brongers Prijzen, Amsterdam ››› U-TURN Quadrennial
for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen ››› Open
Ateliers, Rijksakademie, Amsterdam ››› Quartett, Tanas,
Berlin ››› Dis-Ease, Durban, South Africa ››› For now we
are here, Villa Romana, Florenz ››› Return of the art dead,
Divus Unit 30, London ››› Plazma, Siemens_artLab, Vienna
››› Alpha 2000 – The »Europe’s Future« art prize, GfZK,
Leipzig 2007 PAWNSHOP, e-flux, New York ››› Absolute
Beginners, Milano ››› e-flux Video Rental, Arthouse
Texas, Austin 2006 This is not America, ByArt, Tel Aviv ›››
e-flux Video Rental, KW Institute for Contemporary Art,
Berlin 2004 Love it or leave it, Cetinje biennale 2003
In den Schluchten des Balkan, Fridericianum, Kassel.

Driton Hajredini / The wall is getting bigger

October 18, 2009

Driton Hajredini
The wall is getting bigger, oil on canvas, 300 × 500 cm, 2006

driton hajredini
At first sight the painting of Hajredini looks like a photo from piled up suitcases in a bagage depot or a lost&found office. Looking more precisely and knowing the series of the artist’ suitcase-paintings, they reveal a paradox statement, condensing two concepts: Mobility and nomadism have increased in today’s world (Exodus of refugees, econimic emigrantion, asylum, tourism …), and at the same tim this nomadism stays within static borders, that are kind of a metaphor fort his coming and going. The paintings are more subtle than it seems. In the 90s Hajredini fled from the civil wars in Ex-Yugoslavia and lived in Germany where he studied art, using a false name. He was discovered and got into trouble with the german administration. Of course you can interprete his painting in this direction, but you can also see another level: Europe as microcosmos of the world that at the same time raises hope and builds up insuperable walls. (Shkëlzen Maliqi)

Driton Hajredini

Born in 1970 in Prishtina, Kosova.
Lives and works in Prishtina.
2003–2006 Visual Arts (class Daniele Buetti), Art
Academy, Münster, Germany 1999–2003 Art High
Education, Art Academy, Prishtina, Kosovao.
Solo exhibitions:
2008 The Wall, GAK, Prishtina, Kosovo
2007 Is it a sin …, Art Point Gallery Vienna, Austria
Selected group exhibitions:
2009 Discipline in public space. Prishtina ››› Who killed
the painting? Works from the Block Collection, Neues
Museum Weserburg, Bremen ››› Prague Biennale 4 ›››
George-Maciunas-Awardees, Nassauischer Kunstverein
Wiesbaden ››› Who killed the painting? Neues
Museum Nürnberg 2008 Where the East ends,
Kunstverein Wiesbaden ››› Exception – Contemporary Art
Scene of Prishtina, Novi Sad, Serbia ››› Berlinale – Talent
Campus, Berlin, Germany ››› Call and Response, New
Museum, New York, United States 2006 Kulturkontakt
Austria, Vienna, Austria ››› Leonhardi
Kultur Projekte, Frankfurt, Germany 2005 PS122 New York, United
States ››› Film Festival, Münster, Germany ››› Beton Salon,
Museumsquartier, Vienna ››› EMAF Osnabrück, Germany
››› Kunstfilmbiennale, Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Grants / Awards / Residencies:
2007 NRW Kunststiftung, Düsseldorf, Germany
2005 Kultur Kontakt Austria, residency, Vienna, Austria
››› NIFCA, residency, Reykjavik, Iceland
2003 First Prize, Video Fest Prishtina, Kosovo

Petrit Kumi / Retrospective

October 18, 2009

Petrit Kumi
Retrospektive, photographs, various dimensions

petrit kumi
The photographer Petrit Kumi presents a retrospective of his artistic photography. After World War II, this young ambitious man began to follow the path of art and specifically of photography, later becoming one of the most renowned photojournalists in Albania. Photography, the passion that has accompanied him throughout his life, continues to be an indispensable part of his life to this day. One part of his oeuvre, which spans 50 years, will be made available to the Albanian public for the first time. Scenes from everyday life, landscapes, life in cities and villages, artistic and cultural life, sports, politics, and many other areas that have passed before the lens of this artist, appear to take us back in time. In these photographs, one notices a sense of optimism and a desire for development and progress, a type of translation of the ideology of socialist realism — which Kumi could not have avoided in the system to which he belonged and by which he had to abide. Petrit Kumi has an archive of thousands of negatives, part of which has now been digitised, thus creating an important archive of his personal work, which documents the history of the Albanian people
over the last 50 years.

Petrit Kumi
Born in 1930 in Elbasan, Albania.
Lives and works in Tirana, Albania.
1944–45 High school in Elbasan (which he suspended
because of the Second World War) 1960–64 Art High
School in Tirana, Professor Buza 1950–60 Illustrator
for the magazine »Friendship« and the supplement
»The soviet worker« 1960- Photo reporter for »ATSH«
(Albanian News Agency) 1963–87 Photo reporter for
the magazine »Star« 1966 Internship at the Chinese
News Agency in Beijing China 1985–90 Director of
the Albanian News Agency 1990 until today- Owner
of the first private photo studio and agency in Albania
Participated in many exhibitions in
different countries: Albania, Kosovo, Italy, Serbia,
France, Turkey, USA, China, ect.
1960 First prize in »Moscow World Sport Photo
Exhibition«, Russia 1969 Prize for young photographers
Belgrade, Serbia 1972 Winner of the
National Photo Exhibition, Tirana 1989 Order »Naim
Frashri«, Title »Artist of Honour«, Albania 2005 Prize
»Anton Mazreku« for Photo Sport Reporter, Albania
1961 Photo Album »Albania«
1967-1969 Photo Album »Albanian Women«
1974 Photo Album »Poem for Albanian Women«

Peggy Meinfelder / 100 Westmark

October 18, 2009

Peggy Meinfelder
100 Westmark, Installation, dimensions flexible, 2004

peggy meinfelder
When there were two German states, each of them had its own currency: D-Mark and DDR-Mark. In the Eastern part, the hard currency of the capitalist neighbor was rare – and useful if you wanted to go shopping in one of the special shops who offered western articles [Intershop]. After the fall of the Wall in 1989, every inhabitant of East Germany was given 100 D-Mark as so called »welcome money«. For her installation 100 Westmark Peggy Meinfelder collected the things that the former GDR-residents bought with this money. Each of the articles is marked with the name and birthdate of the buyer, completed by short comments on their reasons for for making the purchase.

Peggy Meinfelder
Born in 1975 in Hildburghausen, German Democratic
Republic (GDR). Lives and works in Munich, Germany.
1993–1996 apprenticeship for stonecutting in
Bamberg 1996–98 journeyman’s years of service,
work as a restaurator of stone 1998–99 Study of
product design at the Academy of Arts, Stuttgart
1999–2001 Study of free arts at the Bauhaus-University,
Weimar 2001–04 Guest student at the Academy
of Arts, Munich, Department of Sculpture (Prof. Olaf
Metzel) 2004 Diploma at Bauhaus-University Weimar
Solo exhibition:
2009 Kompakter Ereignishorizont/ Kunstbunker/ Nürnberg
2007 Revision der Produktion/ Lothringer 13/ München
2006 My first 100 Westmark, Municipal Gallery of
Sonneberg, Germany
Selected group exhibitions:
2009 Monument to Transformation, City Gallery, Prague-Bucharest
››› Facbebook – between empathy and abstraction, Gallery Baer, Dresden-Berlin
Die ersten Jahre der Professionalität, BBK, Munich ›››
2008 850 Revisited, with ‘Expedition Medora’, ZKMax, Munich
Club 500, Kunsthaus, Erfurt 2007 Nostalgia, Haus Ungarn, Berlin
›››100 Jahre Ernst Dichter, Masc Foundation, Vienna
Final Couwntdown, Steinle Gallery, München ›››
KaDeOs, Johannesstr. 36-38, Kunsthaus Erfurt
2006 youth and music, Haus der Geschichte, Bonn ›››
Exhibition Marion-Ermer-Award 2006, New Museum
Residencies / Grants / Awards
2006 Marion-Ermer-Award
2008 Work Scholarship for Fine Arts of the Ministery of Education
of Thuringia State Project ››› Scholarship for Fine Arts of the
Bavarian State Capital Munich
2009 DAAD Scholarship Nordatlantik and USA