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SOFT MEAL

 

 

Adela Jušić,

Nardina Zubanovic,

Beskida Kraja.

 

Curated by Blerta Hoçia

 

 

 

 

The meal we are enjoying together, before becoming a food, is a ritual and a way of communication. This specific ritual speaks a language, which is always universal and contemporary.

In prevailing anthropological readings, cooking food was the first action of cultured societies that created a clear distinction between people and the animals .

The passage from raw to cooked marks first of all a cultural development transmutes human from primate state into the social man. According to Claude Levi - Strauss, humans contains both; they are at once biological beings and social individuals since with the act of cooking they are able to transform natural material into cultural products. In the socio - biological study A Zoologist's Of The Human Animal, Desmond Morris describes the behaviour and the compartmental human history of evolution. For their survivor, people had to hunt. They needed a better-evolved brain to replace the absence of strength. Also their natural physique wasn’t as agile compared to the other animals. As a consequence, to educate and develop the brain, humans needed a more prolonged childhood.

To achieve this, among other reasons, human began to live in couples and practice monogamy. Gender roles were inevitably separated to the detriment of women that mostly had to stay home and take care of the private sphere by giving birth to children, educating, nurturing etc., while men were out providing food through hunting and war fare. The couple’s construction scheme, and as a result the essential transformation of the entire society has remained mostly unchanged until today. However, the emergence of the first feminist wave, almost two centuries ago, questioned a whole worldview about gender roles that was completely obsolete, also reviewed and criticized its institutionalized division, of gender roles, the positions of women inside the heterosexual patriarchal patterns, where women continued to perform the functions of the female primate. Once again, as in the age of cavemen, the male provides food and the female remains trapped in the passive role, deceiving herself with the ridiculous illusion of happy housewife. Lastly after entering the labour market in huge numbers women were left with double burden, still performing the unpaid domestic and reproductive labour .

The works of the three artists have food as common object of cultural value that carries the meaningful symbolism of the society we live in. A changing value that sometimes divides and others merges and connects as we can see in FAMILY of Beskida Kraja, the bread wraps in a holy ritual life of the couple and the family .

In the video-installation "FOOD WITH EXPERIENCE" of Nardina Zubanovic, this value becomes a game, which triggers the imagination, transforms the ordinary alimentary context and inquiries the gender role clichés and stereotypes through an ironic and humorous way. In "A DINNER FOR THREE", a video performance from Adela Jušić, eating is a powerful ritual with symbolic representation of gender, religious and generational dif ferences.The following works are like a recipe for a new meal whose ingredients are compiled together to create a “soft” composition that invites into a new way of thinking.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaGlbuWDnhw

http://www.gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2015/08/04/nje-darke-qe-na-bashkon/

http://www.bunkart.al/faqe.php?l2=3&l3=15

http://tica-albania.org/new/en/listed-events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AtWJCS0eUY

http://www.esteri.it/mae/it/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/approfondimenti/2013/06/20130603_tirana_giovani_artisti_in_mostra.html

 

Scene of a Crime

 

 

Koli Verçani

 

Curated by Blerta Hoçia

 

 

 

"Apartment buildings.

Fields of buildings.

Buildings and neighborhoods.

Building entrances.

Skies of buildings.

Buildings under the moonlight, and buildings that cast shadows on other buildings. This cycle of works began in 2008 until 2010 when Koli Verçani was studying architecture. It was a quiet period characterized by a decrease in new buildings following the legal and illegal construction boom of the previous years. A necessary silence, it seemed as if people needed to reflect on what they had built. Viewing these photos by Koli Verçani reminds me of a Walter Benjamin quote on Eugene Atget.

Atget photographed the streets of Paris as if capturing the scene of a crime. The same can be said about most of these images, whose solemnity is a reminder of something similar to the architectural torture and murder that has happened to the City in the last 10-15 years.

In the superb documentation that Atget has done to nearly every corner of Paris, the human figure is scarce. The absence makes the photograph almost surreal and distant.

A deep sense of distance is also perceived in these works, where the images are immersed in some artificial silence and mystery, a stagnant atmosphere that has nothing to do with the stillness of the sleep brought on by night, but with a deaf quietude from death.

The artist deliberately avoids human presence by choosing as setting the City of night: a city that could have been any other, because its most recognized places are not captured here and a certain anonymity prevails the cycle.

Koli's photography is not documentary, it is not simply recording through the lens what the eye sees. Behind each composition hides the desire to make these neighborhoods and suburb buildings protagonists of an uncharted City: The desire to show something new.

Is such a claim still possible today?

Thousands of photographs, often of famous cities, main roads, the most impressive buildings, photographed a thousand times, by a thousand photographers, at dawn, in the morning, at noon, in the west, in the evening, after dinner, and so forth. I continuously try to find the differences. It is extremely tedious.

Instinctively, through the anonymity of the details of a city for which we only know that it is not Tirana, the artist has found those urban landscapes that are unknown, without risking his images resembling others, no one else would be able to identify the same view to photograph. By using the landscape's lack of identity, the artist tries to give us something original.

Initially his interest is directed within the neighborhoods, putting an emphasis on building interventions by private entities such as additions of the most imaginative kind. It seems as if at the core of these interventions is the ability to distinguish the character of the individuals occupying them. The human absence transforms the buildings into anthropomorphic beings so they emerge as self-portraits of each resident.

Koli Verçani sees the city as a scene from a film. He tries to select buildings with no lighting, but that are lit only because contrary to the film where something is expected to happen, here nothing does.

It seems as though he has waited for this shot to be vacated in order to capture it, and as is done in forensic photography, once again he handles the place as a scene of a crime, whereas the buildings and neighborhoods as annihilated victims."