Let Us Start From The Middle / Effi & Amir

TIRANA ART LAB Centre for Contemporary Art is pleased to invite you to its inauguration:

Inauguration of the premises of Tirana Art Lab & Exhibition Opening
Let Us Start From The Middle  / Effi & Amir

After four years of operating in different spaces in the city of Tirana, we are pleased to announce the official opening of Tirana Art Lab (TAL) space and its first exhibition:

“LET US START FROM THE MIDDLE / EFFI & AMIR”With guest artists: Matilda Odobashi, Era Tula, Driton Selmani, Pleurad Xhafa, and Ergin ZaloshnjaFriday, 5th September 2014 at 7 P.M


“Let us start from the middle” is the exhibition title of the duo ‘Effi & Amir’ presenting their current visual research project into the world of ‘Google Street View’. Through this exhibition they try to develop different approaches of film making within an existing photography. ‘Google Street View’ offers a parallel already documented reality. Inside this huge “snapshot of the world”, it seems that all that is left to do, is to reframe it. Obviously, this is a simplistic way of describing a move that, in fact, is highly challenging both artistically and philosophically. ‘Effi & Amir’ not only reframe it, but they also intervene within the pictures of ‘Google Street View’, by mixing them with other footage and enabling them to reveal other stories. Their work questions perception and representation, authorship and appropriation, time and space correlation and it points to the surprising shift in the western concept of mapping – from abstraction to the anecdotic.

“Let us start from the middle” includes three projects: a new video-work titled “The Vanishing Vanishing-Point” and “As If”, five-channel video installation. These projects were jointly developed in collaboration with artists from Albania and Kosovo. Both works will be exhibited for the first time. In addition, results drawn from the workshop “Tirana Collective Mental Mapping” developed with young people from Tirana will be shared. In this case, “The middle” refers to the arbitrary character of the world-view that ‘Google Street View’ offers, questioning at the same time the centrality OR denial of hierarchy and/or linearity. The exhibition engages with the current location where the artists live, in Brussels and the city where the exhibition will take place, in Tirana. The fictional space of ‘Google Street View’ is transformed into a tool that allows them to address issues related to both realities at once. The fictional enables them to engage critically and put into question power structures in the European Union, the institutions that represent it and ‘Google Street View’ system. 

2nd, 3rd, and 4th September 2014, from 4 to 8 P.M
Mental Mapping Workshop

6th September 2014 at 7 P.M
A talk by ‘Effi & Amir’A land voice overed

With excerpts from their own work as well as other artists and filmmakers Israel, in general, and Jerusalem, in particular, is a representative case of a place, whose imaginary dimension often overshadows its real existence. For centuries and onwards, the Holy Land, Zion or Shalem, were extensively represented visually, often by artists who had never ever visited these places. The biblical people of Israel itself and even Abraham the Patriarch, heard of the land and inevitably imagined it before they saw it with their bodily eyes. Perhaps more than in the imagined place itself, we are interested in the gap opened at the moment of encounter between what was imagined and what is real. How is this gap bridged? Which of the perceptions subordinates the other? Or perhaps, the two are actually different places who just carry the same name? In their talk, ‘Effi & Amir’ will present examples of this tension between the imagined Israel and the real one, and the attempts to resolve it, deconstruct it, or highlight it. Starting from the Bible, passing through ancient maps and art history, to contemporary art and cinema, they will show excerpts of their own works as well as of other artists and makers.

This exhibition was made possible thanks to the support of SmartBE, the Ostrovsky Family Fund and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Albania. Produced by La chose à trois jambes and Tirana Art Lab.