Group Show of the Albanian art scene

Artists: Bora Baboçi, Diomen Boriçi, Eni Derhemi, Fatlum Doçi, Aurora Kalemi, Ledia Kostandini, Olson Lamaj, Ilir Lluka, Mirjana Meçaj, Greta Pllana, Alketa Ramaj including works by Vaska Emanouilova

Title: A for Unapologetic

Curator: Adela Demetja

Venues: Vaska Emanouilova Gallery and DOZA Gallery, Sofia Bulgaria

Organized by DOMA Art Foundation

Photo: Mihail Novakov

Alketa Ramaj The Object 2018 6 x 122 x 9 cm Installation, neon light, clay Photo: Mihail Novakov

A for Unapologetic, is conceived as a poetic journey intended to lead the viewer, through sense access into an elevated and expanded awareness. The exhibition creates its own reality, which in its core does not give any specific instructions, solutions and answers but presents zones of mental and sensorial amplification, while not refusing the physical and the aesthetical but surpassing it. The artworks and the way they come together in the exhibition embody and transmit vibrations. At times these vibrations convey a sense of calmness, a sense of light, a sense of freedom and expansion. While each of the works is a portal to a broad and uplifting perception, the exhibition functions as an extended habitat, in which the viewer is offered the possibility to be more present rather than to escape. 

A for Unapologetic brings together a mixed group of albanian artists composed of artists who were educated in Albania and outside of the country and is at the same time a  presentation of their artistic practices and propositions. The curatorial approach is based on an ongoing interest in creating time-based exhibitions that bind together artworks of different mediums like video, installation, sound, objects and text, which come together to create an entity and can be experienced by the viewer in terms of time, space and sense.

A for Unapologetic, is an exhibition concept and a motto, inspired by the artistic and curatorial approach that tries to escape a sense of identification with what can be seen as limiting. A, as the first letter of the alphabet symbolises every beginning and in this exhibition the starting point is the concept of Unapology. Unapologetic: as an important aspect that every artist or curator can possess and make use of, when pursuing their purpose, in order to be as honest to their inner higher reality as possible. Unapologetic for choosing not to represent or testify the culture, political and economical issues or to document the post-communist condition or to elaborate trauma and collective experience, as has been the case with many exhibitions and projects with artists from South East Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall in the West and in the region itself.

Since the 90s, the Albanian contemporary art scene has been as well dominated almost exclusively from engaged art, reflecting on political, economical and social changes. Many of the artists have led an activist practice while often depriving their works from individual and inner explorations. Nevertheless, in the last years the younger generation of artists have developed a more individualised practice enabling them to deal with a subjective perception of existence, inner exploration and universal awareness rather than just identifying and responding to the given reality. By doing so they have found ways to transcend and overcome reality, gaining a certain freedom from conditions that otherwise would limit or influence them and their work. 

This presentation is part of the NEXT Balkan platform, which reviews trends in the contemporary art on the Balkans. Following the presentation of Serbian contemporary art in 2019 in Sofia, the current event represents the curatorial perspective on the Albanian art scene. NEXT Balkan platform initiated and organized by DOMA Art Foundation. 

Alketa Ramaj Untitled 2020 each 15 x 21 cm. Marker on paper. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Installation view Mirjana Meçaj and Alketa Ramaj. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Mirjana Meçaj, Untiled, 2017, 70 x 70 cm, Oil on canvas with a work from Vaska Emanouilova. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Installation view Bora Baboçi. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Bora Baboçi, Rites of Spring, 2020, 28 x 58 cm, Drawing and montage on cardboard, framed. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Installation view Diomen Boriçi. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Mirjana Meçaj, After the rain, 2017, 65 x 67 cm, Oil on canvas. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Greta Pllana, L’innato, 2021. 250 x 400 cm In-situ painting, Acrylic, charcoal and pencil on the wall. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Greta Pllana, L’innato, 2021. 250 x 400 cm In-situ painting, Acrylic, charcoal and pencil on the wall and Vaska Emanouilova. Archaic 1942. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Mirjana Meçaj, Explosion, 2017, 80 x 60 cm, Oil on canvas. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Vaska Emanouilova Gallery. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Exhibition View, Doza Gallery. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Ledia Kostandini, Dear Balcony, 2020, 15 x 20 cm, Ink and pencil on paper, framed. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Ilir Lluka, Untitled 02b 2021 400x97cm. Digital Image, Inkjet print on tracing paper. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Fatlum Doçi, Me and the night, 2018, 150 x 100 cm, Acrylic on canvas and Aurora Kalemi, Untitled (Night), 2020, 60 x 60 cm, Oil on canvas. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Exhibition View. Olson Lamaj and Diomen Boriçi. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Exhibition View, Ilir Lluka and Fatlum Doçi. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Olson Lamaj, BLUE HOURS, 2021, each 50 cm diameter, Acrylic painting on cardboard. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Aurora Kalemi, Unitled, 2021. Fabrics and wood. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Eni Derhemi, Soulshape, 2020, Poetry on digital photography, projection. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Diomen Boriçi, Untitled, 2021, Video, loop. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Fatlum Doçi, Untitled, 2020, 90 x 70 cm, Acrylic on canvas. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Ledia Kostandini, Dear Balcony (Detail), 2020, 15 x 20 cm, Ink and pencil on paper, framed. Photo: Mihail Novakov
Olson Lamaj, White Rings, 2021, Light Installation. Photo: Mihail Novakov

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