Exhibitions | Dammi I Colori
Anri Sala | "Dammi I Colori" | 2003 | Color video, sound, 18min | Courtesy of the artist
Alban Hajdinaj, Anri Sala, Gentian Shkurti, Fani Zguro
Opening and Closing: Thursday, 12 February 2015 - 7:00pm to Saturday, 14 March 2015 - 6:00pm

Valenzuela Klenner Gallery is proud to present the group exhibition “Dammi i Colori”, with Alban Hajdinaj, Anri Sala, Gentian Shkurti and Fani Zguro, from February 12, 2015 until March 14, 2015. This video exhibition takes the title from Anri Sala’s video “Dammi I Colori” (2003), which is a documentary, sort of, and needs to be seen from start to finish in that order to get a full sense of the quiet dramatic power that lurks beneath its LoRes visuals. Unfortunately, the leader is a bit short, so what seems to be the introduction gets mixed up with the end credits. We first see a lighted window in a shadowy, non-descript tenement block and hear music from within. A car briefly illuminates the walls, revealing a surprising patchwork of vivid colours. The car passes and they fall back into gloom. Now the camera is moving, looking  sideways. Facades as bright and varied as jellybean assortments meet earth and rubble where the pavements should be. Arc lights on the cruising vehicle bleach out the leafless trees in the foreground and catch wan-looking dogs snuffling about wooden gangplanks that link the doorways with the road. In the background, block after block is saturated in technocolor.

Gentian Shkurti’s “Color Blind in Tirana” (2004): The story went through many of the media in the West. Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana, ordered the street fronts of the buildings in Albania's capital city to be painted in bright and screaming colours. It was intended as a statement about the dishwater dull grey of a post-Communist society. “After a long, dark, grey time, these bright colours woke the people up, they were a very powerful symbol of our rebirth, our lust for life and our reawakening,” Edi Rama, the former basketball player and political dissident who went to live in Paris following an attempt on his life, offers by way of an explanation. “Now all of Tirana has become my canvass”, he says. Presenting a critical assessment of the “art” of the mayor who has become famous far beyond the boundaries of his small country the video by Gentian Shkurti records a dialogue between a colour-blind young man and a young woman. After an action of the mayor to color the buildings, Tirana becomes a colorful city, for looking more optimistic to its citizens. The video “Color blind in Tirana” is a dialog between an accidentally daltonic (color blind) and a girl. The guy became daltonic before the city was painted and he doesn’t know the city looks with such of colours. The girls try to make makes him (and us too) imagine the colors, with hope Tirana would look more optimistic to him. More than about colors, this video it’s about hope(less).

Alban Hajdinaj’s “Eye To Eye” (2004): Where part of the exhibition consisted of large murals on building façade created by famous contemporary western artists. But the video “Eye to Eye” is shot from the inside of an apartment whose window directly faces into one of these murals and a voice in the background introduces the audience to the inner thoughts of the inhabitant a young girl who will now have a face the view outside her window. The video indisputably addresses the sense of disorientation and absurd produced when a contemporary art show undertakes imposing projects to the realized in provincial local situations. I try to position myself right at the point where these two opposite directions meet the international art show as a global tool and the local observer, which is like finding oneself in front of an alien. L should also mention the impression l get of a certain deformation caused to artistic projects while they move from the centre towards the periphery creating another destination.

Fani Zguro’s “Street by Street” (2007) is a two channel video. The first channel is a day trip in Tirana through the center is enough to realize its citizens, too, are part of the sight, have that look as of fairy-tale characters. Farmers dressed-up with an urban façade create a sort of black humour, their portraits and mimickings produce scenes of Neanderthal-age delirium. The second channel is a deep nocturnal landscape also in Tirana originates from the new editing of footage shot mostly in 2004, centered on nocturnal settings and dark ambiances, focused on the silence surrounding the night and the strange noises seemingly coming from afar. But instead it’s all very near, hidden in the utmost darkness and enhanced by the firm contrasts that arise between bursts of light and tormented sounds.

 

Alban Hajdinaj was born in Tirana in 1974. Lives and works in Tirana. He was graduated at Academy of Arts Tirana and University of Arts Berlin HDK, guest student (DAAD). He has also exhibited at 52a Biennale di Venezia, Gb Agency Paris, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Mart Roveretto, Musee des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, Chelsea Art Museum New York, Moderna Galerija Lublana, Slovenia (cur. Zdenka Badovinac). ACCA Melbourne, Cetinje Biennale 5, Manifesta 4 Frankfurt, IFA Gallery and Tirana Biennale 1.

Anri Sala was born in 1974 in Tirana. Lives and works in Berlin. He was graduated at Academy of Arts Tirana, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs Paris and Le Fresnoy in Tourcoing. He has also exhibited at Berlin Biennale 2, 55a Biennale di Venezia, Documenta 13 Kassel, Kunsthalle Wien, Serpentine Galleries London, Marian Goodman NYC, Centre Pompidou Paris, Tate Modern London, Pinakothek der Moderne Munich, MOMA NYC, Hauser & Wirth Zurich & London and Chantal Crousel Paris and Kurimanzutto Mexico.

Gentian Shkurti was born 1977 in Mamuras. Lives and works in Tirana. He was graduated at Academy of Arts Tirana. He has exhibited also at  Chelsea Museum New York, National Art Gallery, Tirana, Arte Fiera Bologna (cur. Harald Szeemann), Filmfest Locarno, Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel, Sammlung Essl Museum Vienna, Digital ArtLab Holon, Galleria Civicia d’Arte Contemporanea Montevergini, Museo Civico d’Arte Contemporanea Ortona, Rotor Gallery Graz and National Gallery of Arts Prishtina.

Fani Zguro was born in 1977 in Tirana. Lives and works in Tirana, Berlin. He was graduated at Accademia delle Belle Arti di Brera, Milan. He has exhibited also at Haus der Kulturen Der Welt Berlin, Filmoteca Espanola Madrid, Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, Collegium Artisticum Sarajevo, DOCVA Careof Milano, Tirana Biennale 2, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka, Public Library New York, National Center for Contemporary Art Moscow and 4th Edition of the Young Artists Biennial, Bucharest.

Videos
Selected works
Alban Hajdinaj | "Eye To Eye" (still) | 2004 | Color video with sound, 5 min
Anri Sala | "Dammi I Colori" (still) | 2003 | Color video, sound, 18min
Gentian Shkurti | "Color Blind in Tirana" (still) | 2004 | Black and white video with sound, 4 min
Gentian Shkurti | "Color Blind in Tirana" (still) | 2004 | Black and white video with sound, 4 min
Fani Zguro | "Street By Street" (still) | 2007 | 2 channel, color video with sound, 9 min
Fani Zguro | "Street By Street" (still) | 2007 | 2 channel, color video with sound, 9 min