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 #03 Elton Baxhaku & Fabrizio Bellomo 29.10.–30.11.2015

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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.