Performative Exhibition # 1 – Center of Integration

Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art, art collective Patriotisme and Italian Culture Institute in Tirana are pleased to invite you to attend:

Performances / Lectures / Talks / Installations
Tuesday 24 July – Sunday 29 July 2018
Starting from 7 p.m

„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 first exhibition of this series will be developed under the title “Center of Integration” and aims to reflect visually, poetically and theoretically on the notion of integration. Center of Integration is a joined project of Tirana Art Lab and the art collective Patriotisme that will have its first public appearance at Tirana Art Lab from 24 to 29 of July 2018. Various Albanian and foreign artists, curators and theorists/researchers have been invited to contribute to the program through lectures, talks, performances and installations. 

On the occasion of „Center of Integration“ the space of Tirana Art Lab will be furnished and transformed into an apartment, re-creating the former circumstances of the premises. 


Day 1 – Tuesday 24th July
7 p.m – OPENING
Introduction of Center of Integration

Day 2 – Wednesday 25th July

7 p.m – 8 p.m
The mystery of the Albanian art between lines

Image: Motra Tone, Kolë Idromeno, 1883 (reproduction)

The integration, starting from the definition Center of Integration, etymologically regards to the untouchable (ìntegrum, ìnteger, in-tàng-ere). The first Albanian laic painting, as defined by Gëzim Qëndro, Kolë Idromeno’s Motra Tone, seems to paraphrase this etymology presaging the anxieties of the future Albanian modern and contemporary artists and their context. These anxieties, oscillating between inadequacy, sense of inferiority, illusion of expectations, betrayal or braking of the law of the Other / the Foreigner, characterize or mark not only the subject-artist, but also the artworks. In other words, this intervention explores and experiments, on the line of the anxieties and their oscillations, through art examples, critique writings and historiographical data, fugues for an Albanian art history and art critique.

Romeo Kodra holds a Master in “Theory, Techniques and Management in the Arts and Entertainment” of the Faculty of Human Sciences, Bergamo University of Studies, Italy. In 2016 he was an Invited Researcher at “Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art” – Paris, France. His theoretical interest focuses on the generation of meanings in challenged spaces by arts and politics in transitional and contemporary societies. His interest is explored through researches on curatorial events, theater, writings on arts, architecture and urban planning. He joined Tirana Art Lab- Center for Contemporary Art team in 2014 as Project Manager.


8:30 p.m – 9:30 p.m
Poets on strike

Image: Angelo Careri – Capture from my screen (2018-07-09 @ 11.25.47)

This lecture’s starting point is a recent event that took place in the context of the 2017 edition of Val-de-Marne’s International Poets Biennale in France. Following the last minute cancelation of the 100 euros fee that each invited poet ought to receive, a majority of participants started a “poets strike”. This unprecedented event raised a number of questions about the ambiguous role of poets in today’s society. In what exactly consists the work of the poet? How is its value measured and what kind of salary is he entitled to? What are the theoretical consequences of the practice of strike in the field of art? First I will recount the achievements of this particular event, but also address some of its paradoxes. Then I will use it as a starting point to rethink my position by introducing a piece that I have been working on for seven years, Théorie (“Theory”). Théorie is an auction house that I use to sell my poems directly to collectors. It aims both at mimicking the valorization process that is the current standard in the art world, and also at attempting to emancipate myself from it by selling my work without middlemen.

Angelo Careri is the co-founder of the Patriotisme art group and the chief editor of Immersion magazine. He teaches French Literature at Sorbonne-Nouvelle University (Paris).

Day 3 – Thursday 26th July

7 p.m – 8 p.m
Lecture Performance
“…but at least I’ll be going to Albania soon”[Images from an Imagined Utopia]

Image: From the series “…but at least I’ll be going to Albania soon” [Images from an Imagined Utopia], altered photograph from the photobook 40 Vjet Shqipëri Socialiste (1984), 2018. Image courtesy of the artist.

In 1991, Euronymous, the guitarist, for the infamous Norwegian Black Metal band Mayhem, gave an interview with the important underground metal zine Slayer. In the interview, Euronymous discussed his own connections to politics. Euronymous professed a marked interest in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, in particular in their Southeastern European varieties. Throughout the course of the interview, Euronymous specifically mentions socialist Albania and Romania several times, claiming to be a member of an Albanian-inspired political group in Norway and asserting that “I don’t know if I have any ultimate goal, for me it would be perhaps to play live in Albania, North Korea, Laos, Vitnam [sic], or Kampuchea.” He laments that he did not have time to visit communist Romania “like [it was] in the old days,” but says “but at least I’ll be going to Albania soon.” Euronymous apparently never visited Albania (two years later, in 1993, he was murdered by his bandmate Varg Vikernes, a neo-fascist). Even if he had, however, in 1991 he would have found a country that had toppled the statue of its former dictator, following a particularly harsh and lengthy period of national Stalinism: far from the communist utopia he must have imagined. “…but at least I’ll be going to Albania soon”seeks to explore the ways that Euronymous’ obsession with extreme modes of politics seemed to find a compatible utopic space in socialist Albania. It examines how one extreme ideological imaginary became fruitful grounds for an extreme cultural movement that was almost as far removed aesthetically as one could imagine.Raino Isto is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, working mainly on monumentalism and memory in the Balkan states during the socialist years. His research focuses on public sculpture in socialist Europe and in highlighting the global meaning of socialist realism during the postwar period. He blogs at


8:30 p.m – 9 p.m
Performative Lecture

Image: Gabriele Rendina Cattani, STENTOR EVENING, 2018, Performative Lecture


Gabriele Rendina Cattani is an Italian artist who predominately makes soundtracks: immersive computer generated compositions focused on limits and boundaries of a digital sound environment, and how it could influence our memory and our surrounding comprehension. Cattani, studied from 2011 to 2016 Music Composition at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia Rome and at Institute for Music Research, Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado Milano, Italy. He holds a double Master in Fine Arts and Music Theory from Ecole National des Arts Decoratifs and E.H.E.S.S. Paris, France.

Day 4 – Friday 27th July

7 p.m – 8 p.m
The flags of some of the most important events of Albania’s history

Image: The flag used for the reburial ceremony of Ismail Qemali, Sheshi i Flamurit, Vlora on 28 November 1932

The Albanian National Museum was organized based on a decision by the Lushnja Congress and opened to the public in 1922. It ceased his activity during the Second World War years. The Museum was enriched by the purchase of objects, but also by many donations from the museum’s supporters.

Among the donated objects are the flags of some of the most important events of Albania’s history. From the current status of documents it turns out that the museum had no inventory for the flags, which leaded to enormous difficulties in identifying these objects.

In 1947, the objects of the National Museum were transferred under the management of the Albanian Institute of Science. Later on, the still unidentified flags were handed over to the Albanian Ethnographic Fund.

During the years 1999-2011 Frederik Stamati was introduced to these flags. While working on restoring and preventing their further degradation, he also began to research in order to identify them. His research encompasses nearly twenty years. For the identification of the flags, Stamati used documents from the Albanian State Archive, various publications on the history of Albania and he meet with collectors and people related to the events. Currently, the conservation of the flags is at stake.

Frederik Stamati graduated from the Department of Industrial Chemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Tirana. After working for five years in the industry, he started working as a research fellow at the Institute of History and Linguistic at the University of Tirana, where he organized for the first time in Albania the archeometry and conservation laboratory, which he directed for forty years. He is the author of three monographs and numerous articles published in national and international scientific journals. He has participated as well in numerous national and international scientific projects. He has restored and conserved over 20.000 material culture objects. One of his recent projects was also the identification of flags of the Albanian National Museum.


8:30 p.m – 9:30 p.m
Film – Conference

Image: The Greek Provincial Archaeologists – Project for a logo #2

“Dig?” is an open reflection on the fantasy of archaeology, both as a scientific field and as a ground practice. While coming back to the origins of the Center of Integration and Patriotisme collective moving to Albania, it explores the complicated links between art and archaeology, and tries to raise the question of their common ground. Is that common ground a shared obsession with the past, as supposed by Dieter Roelstrate? Is it an ideology? Is it a pure matter of representation?

Formally, “Dig?” draws its inspiration from the problematic category of the “film-performance”: it refers to the current expansion of the various practices that are grouped under that name and which happen to be often part of the experimental cinema’s specific obsession with the “archaeological imaginary”.

Tancrède Rivière is a PhD student in comparative literature at Paris VII University (Paris, France). Alongside his researches, he works on various projects whose main mediums are poetry, translation and experimental filmmaking. He is co-founder of the art group Patriotisme.

Day 5 – Saturday 28th July

7 p.m – 8 p.m
Integrational Conversation

Adela Demetja is a curator and author. From 2010 she is founder and Director of Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art. As an independent curator she has organized, managed and curated various international exhibitions and events in different European countries.

Eni Derhemi has a Bachelor Degree in Design and Arts from the Free University of Bolzano, Italy and now she is continuing her Master studies in Visual Arts (Theory and Critic) at the University of Bologna, Italy. Her artistic practice is mainly focused on poetry and its melting with different methods of visual representation.

Aurora Kalemi is a visual artist and her practice develops between the medium of painting and video art. She pursued her Bachelor and Master Degree at the Art Academy of Tirana, Albania.


8:30 – 9:30
Menu Kama Sutra

Image: Lumturi Blloshmi, Menu Kama Sutra, 2003, Photography, 40 x 45 cm

“Kama Sutra is Art!

It’s an acrobatic music decorated with mystical Indian ornaments beyond imagination.

It is not a matter of the inappropriate moment, because Kama Sutra can be found in every spontaneous aspect of life.

You would probably ask why the frogs?

I invite all my art friends for a Kama Sutra dish and for a discussion about it.“

Lumturi Blloshmi

Lumturi Blloshmi (born in 1944) graduated in 1968 at the Academy of Arts in Tirana. After the 90s she was one of the few artists of her generation that managed to reposition herself and her work within a contemporary art discourse and one of the few artists to introduce installation and performance in her work. Her works in painting, photography, installation and performance are characterized by an ironic and satiric way of reflecting and criticizing the reality in which she lives. Her works has been showed among others in group and solo exhibitions in institutions like; Chelsea Art Museum in New York, Municipal Art Gallery of Bydgoszcz Poland, Alexandria Biennale for Mediterranean Countries Egypt, Albania National Gallery of Arts, Kosovo National Gallery of Arts, ViennaContemporary Art Fair.

Day 6 – Sunday 29th July

7 p.m – Closing Remarks
8:30 p.m – APERITIVO


Artistic Interventions

No More Class War, 2013, 02:35 min

image: Sokol Peci, No More Class War, 2013, 02:35 min (Video Still)

In a cold day of winter, rain can be a burden for the daily job. As the gaze of someone who observe himself from outside, the camera documents the working day of a gambling casino’s watchmen. His jobs consists of him standing and move all the time, in order to control the situation. Every time cars of clients are coming, the worker jump across the street helping them to park the cars in the reserved place. In an extreme close-up shot only his feet are captured, as the most visible bodily part carrier of stress. Two wet feet from rain stand as testimony for a half man; the upper part of his body is less needed. 

Sokol Peçi (1984, Tirana) graduated from the Art at Academy of Fine Art of Venice and finished the Master studies at Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, Italy. Some of the exhibitions and events he participated include: „What is waiting out there, 6th Berlin Biennale, DE, „The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame, Tirana Biennal, Satellite Project, AL, „Testimony and Desire“, 9th Onufri Prize, National Gallery, AL, „87th Collective Exhibition“, Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, IT, „Double Feature # 6“. Tirana Art Lab.

Intervention in the city / Publication
Sputnik Nr:14 – Center of Integration

Sputnik is a political, sub-cultural Fanzine. Critical and without censorship. Another point of view as a contrast to mainstream media propaganda. Ergin Zaloshnja will observe the developments of Performative Exhibition #1 – Center of Integration and will create the next number of the fanzine Sputnik with the topic Center of Integration. 

Ergin Zaloshnja was born in 1979 in Tirana and lives and works in Tirana, Albania. He is an engaged and activist artist working in the media of photography, installation and video. He is the founder of the political and sub-culture fanzine “Sputnik”.

This project is supported by Italian Culture Institute in Tirana and STEP travel grant managed by ECF with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo.