About

Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art is Albania’s leading contemporary independent art institution. Founded as a non-profit organization, on the initiative of Adela Demetja in 2010, TAL aims at promoting emerging artists and contemporary art from Albania as well as from Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe. The center is process and research oriented. Through different events like, residencies, exhibitions, workshops, performances, lectures and talks, as well as publications, TAL has managed to create a space for emergent critical and reflexive thoughts. The center initiates and supports new productions by national and international artists, and projects critically engaged with artistic, cultural and social issues of transitional and contemporary societies. TAL operates from an independent multifunctional space located in the centre of Tirana. Its unique laboratory consists of an exhibition space, a space for artists in residence and an open public library of contemporary art books.

From 2014 TAL has refined its holistic conceptual, operational and managerial practice based on the concept of rhizome. It is deeply rooted, both in the Albanian cultural context and new experimental methodologies in terms of research, production and management. In this manner TAL tries to resist politicization, polarization and neo-colonial practices which pervade contemporary local and/or global cultural scene. The concept consists in three practical strings: inside-outside (equal relationship/partnership with other foreign/Albanian institutions), bottom-up (equal relationship/partnership with the public/private culture system institutions) and polyphony (artists-public relationship/partnership in production of cultural goods). Therefore the practice of TAL (research, production of art/culture, and management) maintains a strict connection with the sensitive horizontal issues, such as transparency towards the public/private collaborations, involvement of beneficiaries in the process of cultural goods, non-profit/public interest, socio-cultural suitability, effects on vulnerable groups (youth, elderly, minorities, precarious workers), and impact on gender relations.

Throughout the years, TAL has grown into a contemporary art centre, engaged in a wide range of activities and collaborations with other art institutions, museums, and academic structures in Albania, the South Eastern Europe Region and the international landscape. Through one of the members TAL is the first Albanian institution collaborating with Institut national d’histoire de l’art – Paris, France. Thanks to the expertise and capacities of its members TAL was the first art and cultural organization in Albania supported, in the framework of an international partnership project (Heroes We Love ), by the Creative Europe Programme. Also as leading partner TAL was supported in 2016 by Allianz Kulturestiftung. These supports followed the continuous collaboration, in all these years, with other foreign institutions and supporters, such as Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Museum of Yugoslav History Belgrade, UGM | Maribor Art Gallery, Institut für Ausladsbeziehungen, Alliance Francaise, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Robert Bosch Foundation, Pro Helvetia, European Cultural Foundation and a large number of embassies in Albania. TAL is also supported by the Albanian Ministry of Culture, Albanian National Historical Museum and other public/private national institutions.

Executive Director / Curator Adela Demetja

Adela Demetja, holds a master in “Curatorial and Critical Studies” of Goethe University and Städelschule, Frankfurt/Main, a diploma in “Leadership Development Programme” of The College of Europe and European Funds for the Balkans, Berlin-Brussels-Bruges and a diploma in “European Culture Management” of Robert Bosch Foundation. From 2010 she is co-founder and Executive Director of TAL. As an independent curator she has organized, managed and curated a numerous international exhibitions and events in different European countries. In 2015 she co-curated the third edition of the international contemporary Project Biennale D-0 Ark Underground taking place in the anti-atom shelter build by Tito in Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2016 she was appointed curator of Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania at viennacontemporary international art fair, Vienna Austria. As an author she has been writing exhibitions reviews, catalogue text and articles for different online platforms and publications.

Team

Darsel Demetja / Eni Derhemi / Beriad Qojle / Aurora Kalemi / Vjola Kasëmi

Board

Edlira Mali, Fisnik Ismaili, Dr. Frederik Stamati, Nikolin Bujar, Redi Saliasi

Former Curator / Collaborator

Romeo Kodra, Matilda Odobashi, Sonja Lau

Imprint

© 2019 Tirana Art Lab
Design: Paul Voggenreiter
Code: Jens Schnitzler

Contact

Adela Demetja (Director)
M: adela.demetja@tiranaartlab.org
T (AL): +355 (0)692314995
T (DE): +49 (0)176 67606668

Opening Hours

During Exhibitions: Wed-Sat 4-8 pm

Location

We are looking for a new location

Mailing Address

Adela Demetja
Rr. Muhamet Gjollesha
P.64, Sh.6, Ap.54
Tirana Albania

To join our newsletter please send an e-mail to:
info@tiranaartlab.org

Space

From its beginning in 2010 until 2014 TAL organized different types of events in the cities of Tirana, Shkodra and Pogradec in art spaces and public spaces. From 2014 to 2018 TAL operates from an independent multifunctional space located in the centre of Tirana. Its unique laboratory consisted of an exhibition space, a space for artists in residence and an open public library of contemporary art books. Meanwhile we are looking for a new space to relocate TAL starting from 2020.

Find Us

Recent

Performative Exhibition #2 Komuna e Parisit Revisited
 Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić 05.–12.10.2019

Residency

Tirana Art Lab hosts an international residency program that is open to artists, curators and theoreticians from all fields of contemporary culture. The residency gives the participants the opportunity to spend a distinct amount of time in Albania, to meet and to collaborate with artists and experts from the region, and leads to the production of a new work informed by the research on site. The duration of the residency depends on the respective project proposal.

Paul Voggenreiter (Germany)

Designer in Residency

October 2018

Gabriele Rendina Cattani (Italy / France)

Artist in Residency

Double Feature #09

March – April 2018

Fabrizio Bellomo (Italy)

Artist in Residency

Double Feature #03

September – October 2015

Leone Contini (Italy)

Artist in Residency

Foreign Body

April – June 2013

Double Feature is an exhibition format introduced by Tirana Art Lab with the aim of systematically displaying in our premises, two artistic positions to the Albanian, the regional and international audience. By exhibiting two artistic positions together, we would like to construct the ground for contextualization of the artists and their works as well as build up a historical narrative necessary for the developments of contemporary art in Albania and the Region. The structure of the event enables us to pair artistic positions with every exhibition differently, making it possible to create mutual connections and references for both the positions. Especially in the Albanian context such exhibition format is needed and can be very successful. The small scale of the project enables us as organizers to engage deeply with the artists, the works and the context as well as enables the public to have a greater accessibility to a small-scale showcase. We primarily aim in conceptualizing; curating and delivering exhibitions with a high artistic quality and relevance as well as to motivate and create a space for discussion starting for the discourses initiated by the art works. Double Feature is a series of exhibition that will bring together national and international positions; positions from different disciplines; positions belonging to different generations. The creation of a dialogue between the two positions in relation with the history of art will be ensured by detailed exhibition text, artist talks, documentation through publication, interviews, photo documentation, video material etc.

Performative Exhibition is a new format initiated by Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art with the intention to disclose exhibiting and to make public through performativity not only the process of artistic creation and curating, but also find ways to include in the exhibiting process and the means of production behind and beyond the event itself. The concept of “Performative Exhibition” aims to find new ways of exhibiting and curating which break with the temporary / unique features of the contemporary exhibition and propose enduring ways of working together.

The program is eager to tackle new hybrid formats of contemporary music and visuals arts by means of new audio-visual productions, concerts, talks and screenings.

Performative Exhibition #2 Komuna e Parisit Revisited
 Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić 05.–12.10.2019

Double Feature #10 Jora Vaso & Theo Napoloni 29.09.–30.10.2018

Performative Exhibition #01 Center of Integration 24.–29.07.2018

Double Feature #09 Gabriele Rendina Cattani & Ilir Lluka 21.04.–02.06.2018

Double Feature #08 Marina Naprushkina & Ergin Zaloshnja 15.11.–30.12.2017

Double Feature #07 Donika Çina & Hanna Hildebrand 30.09.–04.11.2017

Double Feature #06 Sokol Peçi & Slobodan Stošić 29.04.–03.06.2017

Heroes We Love (End of Project) 04.03.–01.04.2017

Double Feature #05 Çeta Georgia Kotretsos, Pleurad Xhafa 03.12.2016 – 28.01.2017

Downside Up Arbër Elezi, Lori Lako, Igli Marion 28.09.–29.10.2016

TAL @ Vienna Contemporary Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania Lumturi Blloshmi, Aurora Kalemi, Alketa Ramaj 22.–25.09.2016

Double Feature #04 Nikolin Bujari & Nada Prlja 07.05.–04.06.2016

The Art of the Socialist Period between Contempt, Fetishism and Transition International Conference 29.–30.04.2016

Inside Out Fatlum Doçi, Aurora Kalemi, Mirjana Meçaj 05.03.–03.04.2016

Double Feature #03 Elton Baxhaku & Fabrizio Bellomo 29.10.–30.11.2015

Smoke. Biomechanics of Power Nico Angiuli 30.05.–05.07.2015

Double Feature #02 Alma Bakiaj & Viola Bittl 28.03.–02.05.2015

Heroes We Love Collaboration Project 01.01.2015 – 01.06.2017

Music/Arts #5 Continuum Antez 20.12.2014

Double Feature #01 Nemanja Cvijanović & Ibro Hasanović 13.12.2014 – 18.01.2015

Let Us Start In The Middle Effi & Amir 05.–21.09.2014

Music/Arts #4 Metamorphic Narratives Ilir Lluka 08.08.2014

100 km Art Tirana/Shkodra 23.09.2013

Foreign Body Leone Contini 15.–23.06.2013

Balkans Beyond Borders 2012 20.–22.09.2012

Who is afraid of the big, bad crisis? 12.–20.05.2012

Graphic, Novel Sketching W. G. Sebald in Pristina 11.–17.05.2012

Music/Arts #3 Tirana Trash Attila the Stockbroker 05.05.–05.06.2012

Music/Arts #2 Style as weapon 15.–17.12.2011

Music/Arts #1 Let’s Meet by the River Nertila Seferaj, Martin Fuchs, Tobias Donat 11.–12.10.2011

Pipifax – Through the Looking Glass and what we found there Haus am Gern 03.–12.06.2011

Monument Ginger Society Tirana Klara Schilliger & Valerian Maly 16.04.–31.05.2011

Albania–Germany: A Photographic Journey II 08.10.–28.06.2010

Albania – Germany: A Photographic Journey I 13.08.–05.09.2010

Squat The City 21.–23.05.2010

Double Feature #02 Alma Bakiaj & Viola Bittl 28.03.–02.05.2015

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Double Feature is a new event format introduced by Tirana Art Lab with the aim of systematically displaying in our premises, two artistic positions to the Albanian, the regional and international audience. For the Double Feature #02 we will bring together the works of Albania-Greek artist Alma Bakiaj and the German artist Viola Bittl. This second Double Feature is dedicated to painting and introduces for the first time the oeuvre of two contemporary abstract painting positions to the Albanian audience.

Alma Bakiaj works with different mediums including painting, installation, photography and video art. In her practice she focuses on the research, observation and analyzes of different human conditions taking as a starting point her life and everyday experience. Her paintings are detailed observations on a specific behaviour, gesture, movement or act, allowing her at the same time to deeply engage with the subject and reach a certain level of abstraction resulting in what one could call “uncertain images”. What interests her is the involvement of the human condition as something incomplete, flawed and vulnerable. The white and black geometric shapes are not random data. They are the equivalent of all the relationships and connections of the human being with the world, representations of the creation and the cycle of life, desires and fears against unknown forces, and a “domino effect” of the society. For Bakiaj art is a process of self-effort of understanding the world through universal human values, always with a look to the outside world and the inner desires and the second one is her space of creation. Her paintings aim at minimizing the apparent surfaces of objects, through a formal system levels and angles. She uses the technique of blurring of objects through a monochromatic colour. The objects do not have a normal configuration. They create multiple vanishing points. The shapes and lines vibrate together. If we could extend them mentally, they would create intersections. Each one of Bakiaj’s paintings observed separately constitutes an “uncertain image” while many of these pieces brought together have the potential to bring the viewer one step nearer to understanding the universe; as the sum of infinite connections and relationships of all the living beings contained in it. The exhibition will bring for the first time in Albania a collection of Bakiaj’s paintings created in recent years.

Though abstract to a high degree Viola Bittl’s paintings compositions and situations constitute little life sequences. The relationship between the objects, the way in which they approach, avoid, touch or keep distance from each other, their placement and attitude toward the background, can be read as the resembling of interhuman relation and their position within their surroundings and the world at large. Modest, obvious, reduced and silent, can her paintings appear at first glance; they hide themselves. They only reveal to the curious viewer what they conceal from the superficial eyes of random observers. Their strength lies in their depth, beneath the surface, between the accurate layers that Viola Bittl has painted with such sensibility that at times we have the feeling we are staring beyond smooth skin surfaces. Her paintings usually small at scale are territories that develop backwards. Transporting us, from the surface to the depths behind the image, they have the potential to make the canvas (as a layer between creation and reality) disappear and can give the viewer the freedom of a contemplative journey, so needed in our contemporary reality of rapid consumerism. During her residency at Tirana Art Lab, Viola Bittl has produced new works on paper, which will be on display at the show. For the works on paper she uses a special technique, that of painting with nail polish and oil pastel, colours that allow her to maintain the transparency as a persisting characteristic of her oeuvre.

Alma Bakiaj born in 1984 in Albania moved as a child with her family to Thessaloniki Greece, where she perused her art studies. She graduated in Painting in 2008 from the Arts Department of the school of fine art at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and studied further Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice at Chelsea College of Arts and Design at University of Art London. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from School of Plastic Arts at University of Ioannina, Greece. Her works have been showed in solo and group exhibitions, among others in institutions like Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki, Action Field Kodra Thessaloniki, Embassy Tea Gallery London, The Crypt Gallery London, Antonopoulou Gallery Athens, XV Biennale de la Méditerranée BJCEM, Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki. Bakiaj lives and works between Thessaloniki and London.


Viola Bittl born in 1980 in Bavaria, Germany. She studied at the Art Academy in Munich by professor Sean Scully and further studied and graduated in 2011 from Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main by Professor Christa Näher. In 2013 she was a scholarship holder of Else-Heiliger-Fonds, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin and her works have been shown in solo and group exhibition among others in institutions like Kunsthaus Wiesbaden, Eigen+Art Lab Berlin, LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University New York, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Berlin, basis Frankfurt am Main, Zollamt, Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt/Main.

Curated by Adela Demetja & Romeo Kodra

We would like to thank Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen for making possible the travel of artists Viola Bittl.