TAL at viennacontemporary

Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art @ viennacontemporary
Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania curated by Adela Demetja
Presenting works by Lumturi Blloshmi, Aurora Kalemi, Alketa Ramaj
Stand: B36 / C35
22 to 25 September 2016 in the Marx Halle, Vienna


Lumturi Blloshmi (born in 1944) graduated in 1968 from the Academy of Arts in Tirana. As almost all the artists of her time, she painted until the end of the 80s in socialist realism style. After the 90s she was nevertheless one of the few artists of her generation that managed to reposition herself and her work within a contemporary art discourse. 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. Blloshmi stands in the middle of her cosmos she is not a passive viewer but rather an active participant. This allows her to openly express her views about the art world, the political scene and the society of which she is part. Her view is that of women, a strong women criticizing with humor the power establishment dominated my man. What makes her oeuvre remarkable is the lightness, the simplicity and optimism she uses when dealing with the harsh reality. By cultivating and protecting a feminine approach, Blloshmi has tirelessly resisted different regimes and developments becoming one the most important and innovative contemporary Albanian artists. Her works has been showed among others in group and solo exhibition 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. She lives and works in Tirana, Albania.

Aurora Kalemi (born 1993 in Tirana, Albania) pursued her bachelor and master studies at Academy of Arts in Tirana. Her practice develops between the medium of Painting and Video Art. Kalemi, belongs to a young generation of artists that can be considered individualists, as they have consciously decided not to deal directly with events and their representations but with the influence and the consequences socio-political events have on individuals. Her practice is characterizes by the individual approach toward the medium and the way the work process makes is possible to deal with individual perception of existence and reality. From the infinity of the inner world ideas emerge, through the painting process come to appear and become a way of communication with the reality. It is inside this existential and individual discourse, between Being and Appearing that her practice emerges and it is to be understood, both in content and form. She has participated in various artistic activities locally and internationally, such as: Tirana Open Festival of Art and Literature, Albania; Multicultural Festival Berat, Albania; Inside Out, Tirana Art Lab, Albania; Art Vision Project, Venice and Puglia, Italy. She lives and works in Tirana, Albania.

Alketa Ramaj (born 1983 in Permet, Albania) graduated in 2006 from the Academy of Arts in Tirana. The emotional relationship the artist builds with the environment she lives in terms of social connection, historical and the politic context are reflected in her practice that develops in different mediums from painting to photography, video and installation. Ramja’s work is typified by an incessant curiosity and permanent study of new forms of expression, which reveals a striking independence in terms of applying her own critical and personal working methods. She was the recipient of the 2012 Onufri Award and 2013 Ardhja Award. Her work has been exhibited in Albania and abroad in exhibitions and venues including: Bienal del Fin del Mundo, Mar De Plata, Valparaiso, Venice; Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Bari; ISCP, international studio & curatorial program, New York; Stacion, Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina; Basement, Basel; Artists in Residence, Artpoint Gallery, Vienna; La Fenice Gallery, Venice; The National Gallery of Tirana; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe. She lives and works in Tirana, Albania.

Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania
Booth B36 / C35

This special showcase, curated by Adela Demetja, explores a region in Southeastern Europe: ex-Yugoslavia and Albania. While alternative and independent art spaces were founded in the 1970s in Western Europe and the USA in opposition to the art market, with their development playing an important role for the emergence of institutional critique, the alternative art scene in ex-Yugoslavia and Albania has emerged and developed for exactly the opposite reasons: the lack of contemporary art institutions and the absence of an art market. Therefore, the independent art spaces played a significant role in the establishment of a system of contemporary fine art in this region and in its communication beyond the borders. In some cases, they are the only places where communication and discourse about contemporary art can take place. In light of the momentous changes that have occurred in this region and the sustained financial crisis, culture is the field which has suffered the most. The effects can be read from the current problems of public cultural institutions. Hence, the independent art spaces are currently the decisive sites for contemporary art.

The Focus includes works by young and established artists from these countries presented by the institutions:
Igor Eškinja, Andrea Knezović, Neven Korda (Galerija Alkatraz, Ljubjana, Slovenia)
Dalibor Martinis, Damir Očko, Dino Zrnec (Apoteka Space for Contemporary Art, Vodnjan, Croatia)
Dusan Percinkov, Nada Prlja, Ilija Prokopiev (Serious Interests Agency, Skopje, Macedonia)
Milan Nešić, Slavica Obradović, Slobodan Stošić (Šok Zadruga, Novi Sad, Serbia)
Lumturi Blloshmi, Alketa Ramaj, Aurora Kalemi (Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art, Tirana, Albania)

22–25 September 2016
Marx Halle Vienna
Karl-Farkas-Gasse 19, 1030 Vienna

Opening hours:
Thursday, 22 September 2016: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Friday, 23 September 2016: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday, 24 September 2016: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, 25 September 2016: 11:00am – 6:00pm