Artist: Alban Muja
Title: Enough is Enough
Donated to the Citizens of Tirana and curated by Harabel Contemporary, Tirana
This artwork is part of a long-time project of Harabel that has started during 2020 and contains a series of works created by contemporary artists, which will be placed in public spaces of different cities of Albania. This project aims to set a close interaction between the public and contemporary art, as well as to create an open dialogue between urban space and art. “Enough is Enough” is the second artwork that takes part in this project, which started last year in November, with the inauguration of “The Calligraphy” by Adrian Paci.
Enough is Enough is a work of public art by the artist Alban Muja, which originates from the statement made by President George Bush during his visit to Tirana in 2007: “At some point in time, sooner rather than later, you’ve got to say enough is enough, Kosovo is independent!”, giving a clear message to all international politics, but also reminding once again the linked fates of Kosovo and Albania.
This oeuvre, the first of its kind for the contemporary artist Alban Muja, is an iron sculpture, which, just like a bridge, it connects the two banks of the Lana River in one of the most populated areas of the capital. The work, which is actually a sculpture more than an installation, consisting of the forming letters of the phrase Enough is Enough, is about 15 meters long and each letter is 1.8 meters high. Nevertheless, it carries a discreet monumentality, as it is not visible from the roads on either side of the river that it connects, but can only be seen by pedestrians on the nearby bridges, or by those seeking to look at it among the surrounding vegetation. This placement is certainly intentional: the unification of the two sides is a rhetorical gesture, but also a parallelism that responds to the truth of two nations connected since always and forever; on the other hand, the almost hidden placement of a monument of such large dimensions, calls again another great truth: that of the Albanian hospitality of the exodus of Kosovo during the war, great but silent.
The themes of memory, the Kosovo war and the material representation of pain are continuous subjects in Alban Muja’s artistic research. Enough is Enough in its shape is unusual for him, but at the same time it’s a continuation of the discourse that Muja initiates in his work, confronting the public with major issues of war, emigration and division, but also the importance of humanistic values, such as collective aid, people being there for each other.
The birthplace is the secure starting point of Muja’s work, same as the war, as a lived truth of his, but Enough is Enough is not only a monument of Kosovo’s relationship with Albania, but also an echo of the situation of every refugee in the world today. From this perspective, Enough is Enough is also a political act that surpasses the territory where it is born, a rebellion towards today’s socio-political models, which tend to emphasize more on (territorial) borders than human life and the universal right to security and stability. The intention of this work is not the recollection of the war, but the approach with its consequences to the affected people and the problematics of the power being sought as a purpose.
Enough is Enough approaches as a historical memory after two decades, and as such it may seem belated, but it is precisely the evidence of a slightly changing world, almost an artifact of the great refugee crisis that the Balkans experienced and that apparently had little impact on international political behavior, as the world constantly sees the birth and the expansion of acute areas of humanitarian crisis. In this context, Enough is Enough comes not only as the answer that the American President gave to Kosovo’s independence status, but also as a questioning of the long-term relationship between power and human freedom.