Paul Voggenreiter (Germany)
Designer in Residency
Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art is one of 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 reflecive 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. From 2014-2018 TAL operated 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. At the moment TAL does not have a physical location but collaborates with local partners for its exhibitions.
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 was the the first Albanian institution to have collaborated 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. TAL is currently part of the large scale international collaboration project Beyond Matter EU in partnership with ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Centre Pompidou, Ludwig Múzeum – Kortárs Művészeti Múzeum, Tallinn Art Hall, Aalto University, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL (associated partner). Co-founded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union. 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, Goethe Zentrum Tirana, Swiss Cultural Fund Albania and a large number of embassies in Albania. TAL has been supported also by the Albanian Ministry of Culture, Municipality of Tirana, Albanian National Historical Museum and other public/private national institutions. TAL has collaborated with local partners including Tulla Cultural Center, Bulevard Art and Media Institute, Galeria e Bregdetit Vlorë.
Adela Demetja is a curator born in Tirana, Albania living in Tiran and Frankfurt am Main. She holds a master in "Curatorial and Critical Studies" of Städelschule and Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main. Demetja studied from 2002 to 2006 at Academy of Art in Tirana. She is the director of Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art, which she established in 2010. As an independent curator she has curated numerous international exhibitions and collaborated among others with institutions like National Gallery of Arts Tirana, National Art Gallery of Kosovo, Maxim Gorki Theatre Berlin, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art USA, Project Biennale D-0 Ark Underground Konjic, Action Field Kodra Thessaloniki, Lothringer 13 Kunsthalle Munich, Villa Romana Florence, Haus am Lützowplatz Berlin. She curated the Albanian Pavilion at 59th Venice Biennale represented by Lumturi Blloshmi.
Eni Derhemi born 1992 in Tirana, is an Albanian artist and curator. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Design & Arts from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and a Masters Degree in Visual Arts from the University of Bologna. Since 2010 she has lived and worked in the creative sphere between Albania, Italy and Germany. She has been a collaborator in different projects of Tirana Art Lab - Center for Contemporary Art since 2016. In 2020 she co-founded Ecumene Project, where she has the role of project director, curator and researcher.
PROJECT ASSISTENT / ASSISTENT CURATOR ERIDA BENDO
Erida Bendo born in 1996 in Kolonjë, Albania, is an architect and computational designer. Always curious about the multi-dimensional aspects of the built environment, from interior spaces to cities, her interests lie in understanding natural phenomena, as the driving force in her explorations of generative design and rule based systems. Erida holds a Masters in Architecture from the Polytechnical University of Tirana and a postgraduate master in advanced computation for architecture and design from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.
PROJECT ASSISTENT / ASSISTENT CURATOR JIRI GRUBER
Jiří Gruber is a Czech intermedia artist and theorist. He studied at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University and at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Brno University of Technology. He also completed study internship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe. His approach is long term multidisciplinary and with an emphasis on collaborative practice. He lives and works between Brno, Tirana and Belgrade.
Edlira Mali, Fisnik Ismaili, Dr. Frederik Stamati, Nikolin Bujar, Redi Saliasi
Romeo Kodra, Matilda Odobashi, Sonja Lau
Adela Demetja (Director)
T (AL): +355 (0)692314995
T (DE): +49 (0)176 67606668
During Exhibitions: Wed-Sat 4-8 pm
We are looking for a new location
Rr. Muhamet Gjollesha
P.64, Sh.6, Ap.54
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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.
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.
Designer in Residency
Artist in Residency
June – July 2018
Artist in Residency
March – April 2018
Artist in Residency
September – October 2015
Artist in Residency
April – May 2015
Artist in Residency
March – April 2015
Artist in Residency
April – June 2013
Artist in Residency
April – May 2014
Artist in Residency
May – June 2011
Artist in Residency
April – May 2011
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.
Fabrizio Bellomo is the third artist in residency for 2015 at Tirana Art Lab. Like many artists in residency at TAL, Bellomos artistic research and production process is a multi layered one, that enriches the laboratory of TAL with new meanings. His residency in the capital city resulted in the creation of a public art intervention and a video work. And in these works, like in most of his other works, Bellomo draws a thin but settled line, between the social problematics, anthropological transformations and artistic interpretations.
And on this thin but settled line, it becomes possible to feel the aesthetic or ethical vibration of an artist that keeps searching and progressing like an acrobat balancing on a wire, whose beginning is known but the ending unknown. We could even say that Bellomo’s working practice is based on a research that goes beyond the meaning oriented result, a blind but balanced walk through the heart of social problematics, anthropological transformations and the artistic interpretations that seem to constitute the wire in which the artist walks. Walking on this wire may seem paradoxical, while one side is connected with the will and the social engagement of the artist, the ethics the other side is connected with his artistic interpretation and the aesthetics. Bellomo walks on this tightwire, which connection we see only from one side. The other side remains invisible for us as viewers, always suspended; safe for the artist based on his aesthetics but still to be defined by the viewer. And here a question arises, an open challenge: is it possible to find in our societies of transition (former east) or chronic crises (former west), an aesthetics that can compensate at the same time the ethics?
At the work “The tool makes the master” the same question is being raised, the same challenge of Fabrizio Bellomo. How much art is there, or can be contained, in the roundabouts and crossroads of transition in the Albanian capital? How many times do we turn our heads while crossing the ”Dogana” (the name used to identify “Shqiponja” square) in Tirana this colorful city and full or art, in order to observe these human beings tighten up after their tools, in search for a client for the sake of earning their daily bread, or find a job that would bring them out of this transitional swirl. How much art is contained in this daily human drift and how can we experience our colorful contemporaneity without before experiencing the reality of the workers at “Dogana” square?
While Bellomo finds these drifted subjects in former-workers now unemployed, be it Albanian or Italian, alienated humans as a result of the tight relationship with the tools and machines, for the second artist in Double Feature #3, Elton Baxhaku these are the Roma community. Together with them the artist emerges in the most miserable labyrinths of the Albanian society, there where tools are still semi primitive, but however still reciprocally affecting the relationship man-machine. Video art functions for Elton as a means to redefine the lost purpose of documentary film. With video art Baxhaku – using image repetition and almost only autistic sounds – recharges his psycho-physical energies, gains his strength out of the social apathy of the unengaged Albanian society, in this never transiting transition, that spins around repeating itself (in sounds and images), that gives him the creative energy for an initiative, and action for a new social resistance. Although repetition is quite a simple strategy to justify the artistic creation, taking in consideration Baxhaku’s practice and works, it turns into a solid approach for both aesthetic and ethical aspects, likewise with Bellomo, with whom he shares the passion and cultivation for documentary cinema.
By bringing these two artistic positions together, we have tried once again to create the combination that characterizes the Double Feature format at Tirana Art Lab. We have tried once again to highlight the concept that the genesis of art is always at the bottom, at the periphery, the lower and repellent territories of society, but as well as from inside, by the contamination of foreign artists that at the same time contaminate the local context with the art potion, by cultivating it during their residency at TAL. Thank to this potion, thank to new meanings produced within the Albanian social corpus, at Tirana Art Lab and with “Double Feature #3”, we try once again to fulfill our mission as culture operators: to reformulate and remodify the art and culture competences inside our social context.
Fabrizio Bellomo (Bari, 1982). Visual artist, curator and film director. He carries on his research in an hybrid and multidisciplinary way. His works have been exposed in Italy and abroad in solo and collective exhibitions, through out public projects and cinematographic festivals. He has shown among others in institutions like: plat(t)form 2015 Fotomuseum Winterthur (Zurich), ArtAround MuFoCo Cinisello Balsamo (Milano), 2004-2014 10 anni del museo di fotografia contemporanea Triennale di Milano, Milano un minuto prima Fondazione Forma Milano, Objet Perdù e Giovane Fotografia di Ricerca in Puglia Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali – Polignano a Mare (Bari), Video.it Fondazione Merz Torino. His work has been selected in a various critical essays (luogo e identità nella fotografia italiana contemporanea a cura di Roberta Valtorta, Einaudi – Torino 2013 – and others), and it is part of public and private collections. In 2012 he won the Premio Celeste with the video 32 dicembre. His first movie is L’Albero di Trasmissione, co-produced by Amarelarte, Fujifilm Italia and Apulia Film Commission. He participated, among the others, to the 55th Festival dei Popoli in Florence and to the 34th Cinemed – festival international du cinéma méditerranéen de Montpellier. He curated the book Le persone sono più vere se rappresentate (Postmedia Books – Milano 2014) and curated the book cartoline dalle puglie (Guidone Apulia Factory – Bari 2010), He published the essay Io neanche lo vedo più il codice, appunti per un possibile saggio in the book Generazione Critica 2 (Danilo Montanari editore – Ravenna 2015). Moreover he ideated and curated public art projects (amarelarte Bari 2011) and movie screenings. Recently he won the open call Progetto Memoria by Fondazione Apulia Film Commission and he’s working on a new short movie co-produced between Italy and Albania. In the next months, will be published his new book, L’Isola che non c’è – Bari, quartiere San Cataldo (Linaria, Roma 2015). He won the open call Movin’Up 2015 and realized his project during the residency and show at Tirana Art Lab.
Elton Baxhaku born in Tirana Albania, is a filmmaker, producer/director, writer and video artist. He first graduated as Bachelor in Political Sciences and later studied directing at the Academy of Film and Multimedia “MARUBI”, Tirana Albania. His documentaries engage with issues related with LGBT and Roma community. Together with Eriona Çami he co directed the documentary “Ska Ndal” the first feature documentary about the LGBT movement in Albania. Other films include “ROMING- no network” a documentary about the Roma community. Book is a fiction documentary engaging with a more philosophical aspect and the question ‘what is a book?’. His films have been screened in regional and international film festivals and last year he was part of the exhibition “Erase”, that took place at the National Historical Museum in Tirana, Albania.
Curated by Romeo Kodra
The residency of Fabrizio Bellomo and exhibition is made possible with the support of Project DE.MO./Movin’Up I session 2015.