Albania

Exposition “L’argent et la culture Canadienne”

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final poster exhibit

 

Shqip me poshte—English below—
L’argent est utilisé tous les jours et les symboles de notre culture et de notre histoire sont fiers présenté. De nombreux symboles ont été utilisés depuis le premier dollar canadien en 1858 et, avant cela, la livre canadienne et d’autres provinciales / coloniales. Un loonie, ou huard en français, est une pièce de un dollar avec l’image de huard sur elle, apparaissant pour la première fois en 1987, tandis que le toonie, un dollar deux pièce, présente principalement des ours polaires. On pense que l’association d’un “mâle” ce qui signifie un dollar provient de commerçants de fourrure qui ont utilisé le terme pour désigner un fourrure de castor, qui avait une valeur d’un dollar. Divers thèmes sont trouvés dans la circulation, des pièces de monnaie commémoratives et collectables et des billets de banque, représentant souvent des animaux, les gens et les événements dans un contexte canadien.
L’exposition canadienne de l’argent et de la culture à Ditart présentera des l’argent canadien, des informations sur les symboles qui y figurent, l’occasion de familiariser les téléspectateurs avec l’argent canadien et ses thèmes, personnages et histoires.
Organisé par Kevin Tummers et Blerina Berberi
Ekphrasis Studio

Shqip—
Paraja perdoret cdo dite dhe simbolet e kulturës dhe historisë sonë janë paraqitur me krenari. Shumë simbole kanë qenë përdorur që nga qarkullimi i parë i dollarit kanadez në vitin 1858, dhe para kësaj pound-i kanadez dhe të tjera monedha provinciale / koloniale. Nje Loonie, ose Huard në frëngjisht, është një dollar monedhë me imazhin patës në të, për herë të parë të botuar në vitin 1987, ndërsa toonie, dy dollar, kryesisht përmban arinj polare. Mendohet se kuptimi i një “buck” që do të thotë një dollar vjen nga tregtarët e lekures se kafsheve që përdorën termin për të treguar një lekuren e kastorit, e cila kishte një vlerë prej një dollar. Tema të ndryshme janë hedhur në qarkullim, monedha përkujtimore dhe kartëmonedha, shpesh permbajne kafshët, njerëzit dhe ngjarjet në një kontekst kanadez. Ekspozita “Paraja kanadeze dhe kultura” në Ditart do të paraqesë shembuj të parasë kanadeze, informacion në lidhje me simbolet mbi ta, duke i dhënë mundësi shikuesit te njihet me paratë kanadeze dhe shumë tema dhe histori.

English—
Money is used everyday and symbols of our culture and history are proudly presented. Many symbols have been used since the first circulation of the Canadian dollar in 1858, and prior to this the Canadian pound and other provincial/colonial currencies. A loonie, or huard in French, is one dollar coin with the loon image on it, first appearing in 1987, while the toonie, a two dollar coin, mainly features polar bears. It is thought the association of a “buck”
meaning a dollar comes from fur traders who used the term to denote a beaverpelt, which had a value of one dollar. Various themes are found in circulation, commemorative and collectable coins and banknotes, often picturing animals, people and events in a Canadian context.
The Canadian Money and Culture Exhibition at Ditart will present examples of Canadian money, information about the symbols on them, giving the opportunity to familiarize viewers with the Canadian money and its many themes and story-lines.
Curated by Kevin Tummers and Blerina Berberi
supported by Ekphrasis Studio

Exposition “Les Acadiens D’La Baie”

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poster exhibit

Les Acadiens d’La Baie, at DITART Centre, presents the French Acadians of Saint Mary’s Bay, Nova Scotia, through their history, language, art, culture and music. The original Acadians were the first European settlers in Canada beginning in 1604. Their descendants arrived in Baie Sainte-Marie in 1768, and have remained there since. They have maintained family ties throughout the Francophone world, including Louisiana, where their relatives are known as Cajuns. Baie Sainte-Marie/Clare Municipality is Nova Scotia’s only officially bilingual municipality and is surrounded by English and Mi’kmaq speakers, leading to an interesting linguistic evolution of old French, Metis and modern English. Please join us at DITART to learn more!

“Les Acadiens d’La Baie”, një ekspozitë në Qendrën kulturore DitArt, prezanton akadianët frankofonë të Gjirit të Shën Mërisë, në Skocinë e Re, përmes historisë së tyre, gjuhës, kulturës dhe muzikës. Akadianët janë kolonia e parë evropiane që mbërriti në Kanada duke filluar nga viti 1604. Pasardhësit e tyre janë vendosur në Gjirin e Shën Mërisë më 1768-ën dhe kanë ndenjur aty që prej asaj kohe.

“Les Acadiens d’La Baie”, une exposition au Centre DitArt, présente les Acadiens francophones de la Baie Sainte-Marie, en Nouvelle-Ecosse, à travers leur histoire, leur langage, leur culture et leur musique. Les Acadiens sont les premiers colons européens arrivés au Canada à partir de 1604. Leurs descendants se sont installés dans la Baie Sainte-Marie en 1768 et y sont restés depuis.

Ekspozita “LIDHJET” Vilhelm Aagaard/ Exhibition “Relations” by Vilhelm Aagaard

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Exhibition RELATIONS
Vilhelm Aagaard
http://vilhelmaagaard.dk/
Born 1959 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Vilhem’s motive in the world revolves around human relationships and the landscape that surrounds us and is within us, or as he states “It is the blind spot I try to identify through art”. Creativity started as a bolt from the sky. The media images of the Kosovo war during the 90’s marked an important call for the artist to express his perspective on our human relationships. Vilhelm works with selfinvented techniques, and his paintings have thick and bold brush strokes, thicker than you think.
Do not miss the opportunity to see original works during the exhibition at DITART.
DITART International & Community Culture Center
Str. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41,Tirana, Albania
Supported by http://www.EkphrasisStudio.com
Exhibition RELATIONS- Ekspozita LIDHJET
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Ekspozita LIDHJET
Vilhelm Aagaard
http://vilhelmaagaard.dk/
Lindur me 1959- Kopenhagen, Danimark
Motivi i Vilhelmit ndaj botes rrotullohet rreth lidhjeve dhe marredhenieve ndermjet njerezve and pejsazheve qe na rrethojne ose jane brenda nesh, ose sic thote artisti “Eshte Pika e Verber qe une perpiqem te identifikoj ndermjet artit”. Krijmtaria filloi si nje vetetime nga qielli. Imazhet e medias gjate luftes ne Kosove ne vitet 90-te shenuan nje thirrje te rendesishme per artistin per te shprehur perspektiven e tij ndaj lidhjeve dhe marredhenieve njerezore. Vilhem punon me teknika te shpikura vete dhe pikturat e tij kane penelata te trasha, me te trasha se cmund te mendoni.
Mos e humbni mundesine per te pare veprat origjinale gjate ekspozites tek DITART.
DITART Qender Kulture Nderkombetare dhe Komunitare
Rr. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41,Tirana, Albania
Mbeshtetur nga http://www.EkphrasisStudio.com

Exhibition RELATIONS/ Ekspozita LIDHJET

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JU LUTEMI SHPERNDAJENI ME ATO QE MUND TE JENE TE INTERESUAR!
You are invited at the opening of the exhibition to meet with the artist, Vilhelm Aagaard, on Friday, October 16, 2015, 18:00 at DITART– International and Community Culture Center, Str. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41, Tirana, Albania
Jeni te mirepritur ne hapjen e ekspozites per tu takuar me artistin, Vilhelm Aagaard, te Premten, 16 Tetor, 2015, ora 18:00 tek DITART– Qender Kulturore Komunitare dhe Nderkombetare, Rruga Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41, Tirane, Shqiperi.

BIG flyer

Me poshte per shqip!

Exhibition RELATIONS
Vilhelm Aagaard
http://vilhelmaagaard.dk/
Born 1959 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Vilhelm’s motive in the world revolves around human relationships and the landscape that surrounds us and is within us, or as he states “It is the blind spot I try to identify through art”. Creativity started as a bolt from the sky. The media images of the Kosovo war during the 90’s marked an important call for the artist to express his perspective on our human relationships. Vilhelm works with selfinvented techniques, and his paintings have thick and bold brush strokes, thicker than you think.
Do not miss the opportunity to see original works during the exhibition at DITART. Oct. 16- Nov. 20, 2015. DITART International & Community Culture Center. Str. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41,Tirana, Albania. 

Supported by www.EkphrasisStudio.com

Ekspozita LIDHJET
Vilhelm Aagaard
http://vilhelmaagaard.dk/
Lindur më 1959- Kopenhagen, Danimark http://vilhelmaagaard.dk/
Motivi i Vilhelmit ndaj botës rrotullohet rreth lidhjeve dhe marrëdhënieve ndërmjet njerëzve dhe pejsazheve që na rrethojnë ose janë brenda nesh, ose sic thotë artisti “Është Pika e Verbër që unë përpiqem të identifikoj ndërmjet artit”. Krijmtaria filloi si një vetëtimë nga qielli. Imazhet e medias gjatë luftes në Kosovë në vitet 90-të shënuan një thirrje të rëndësishme për artistin për të shprehur perspektivën e tij ndaj lidhjeve dhe marrëdhënieve njerëzore. Vilhem punon me teknika të shpikura vetë dhe pikturat e tij kanë penelata të trasha, më të trasha se çmund të mendoni.
16 Tetor- 20 Nëntor, 2015 @ DITART Qendër Kulture Ndërkombëtare e Komunitare, Rr. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41, Tirana, Albania. Mbështetur nga www.EkphrasisStudio.com

Other links: Eventbrite KultPlus ArtRabbit ArtSlant Calendar AllEvents Shqiptarja Shqiperia Albanian Telegraphic Agency Ikub Tirana XXL InfoKult MegaPress RoundTown

Triple Dance Exhibition / Ekspozita “Kërcimi Tresh”

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imazh

June 20-July 19 /  Daily 12:30-20:30

Triple Dance Exhibition / Ekspozita “Kërcimi Tresh”

ANAITA

DITART International & Community Culture Center

FINAL POSTERFacebook/ ANAITA web/ Ekphrasis Studio/ Ditart

ANAITA (Anita Duriçi) inspired and very curious about paintings and drawings, studied arts during her teenage years. She uses bright colors to stimulate the surfaces of images, people, landscapes, life. Inspired by reality, her paintings are noticed for the happiness and liveliness.
Being optimistic, Anaita plays with colors and shapes, everything that makes visible her imagination. Her artworks are a mirror where is reflected what we all have inside, a desire for life!

ANAITA (Anita Duriçi) e frymëzuar dhe shumë e interesuar për vizatim dhe pikturë që në femijëri, studioi artin gjatë viteve të adoleshencës. Ajo përdor ngjyra të ndritshme për të stimuluar përfaqësitë e imazheve, njerëzve, peisazheve, jetës. E frymëzuar nga realiteti në pikturat e saj spikat lumturia dhe gjallëria. Duke qenë natyrë optimiste, Anaita luan me ngjyra dhe forma, gjithçka që bën të dukshme imagjinatën e saj. Punët e saj janë një pasqyrë ku reflektohet ajo që të gjithë kemi brenda nesh, dëshira për jetën!

Stuck on Nostalgia

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Stuck on Nostalgia

Ish-Kinostudio, Ish-Eksposita, Ish-Kombininati, ish Blokku, ish Misto Mame, ish Fusha Aviation, Lek i vjeter, Pazari i ri…

1 lek

These and others, are examples of modern day places and things, that are no longer actively relevant, yet remain the preferred name. Ish translates as “former” and vjeter is “old”. So why do we insist on referring to things by what they once were, and not what they are? Is it laziness, or ignorance, or is it nostalgia?

It is certainly not laziness, as the effort used to argue between old and new lek is monumental. And it is surely not ignorance, as any literate person can clearly read the number printed on the money, or read a street sign.

Albania is a country seemingly looking to move on from their oppressed Communist past, and yet so many subtle indicators show that the country is still deeply rooted in those times, and often with a very fond nostalgia. It seems as though many residents of this country wear “nostalgia glasses”. Just as sunglasses block out the sun, these Nostalgia glasses block out the present. While wearing nostalgia glasses, one can also speak of the beauty and splendor of Albania, while ignoring the trash and disruptions that are present virtually everywhere.

There are many possibilities to explore, and I will begin with family composition in the household. In Albania, generally families live in large multi-generational units. These units often consist of grandparents, parents and children living together or in close proximity. In many cases both the grandparent and the parent would have been familiar with the former term of something, such as old lek or Eksposita. Thus, their continued use by the older generation could play a major role in the younger’s use of the term. This might be a logical explanation for why young children understand and use ‘old lek’. It is often said that Albania has one of the youngest populations in Europe, however it must also be considered that the older population remains a dominant part of social life, possibly stifling the youth’s development and usage of modern terms. Either way, there is a large communication between young and old, and somewhere along the way, the young are learning things from the older generations, that simply are not relevant today, yet somehow are made not only relevant, but the norm.

Media also has a major role to play, and it is one that is failing. The role of media is to convey reality to the people, yet, for whatever reason popular TV shows that give out cash prizes always refer to old lek, even at times in the title of the show! It is a form of surrealism, of which we have written in the past. These TV shows can suggest the cash prize is 1 million lek, or 500 million lek, and hide behind the fact that they refer to old lek, which is a number 10 times greater than new lek. Every single time an interview takes place on TV, there is always an additional comment or confusion as to whether old or new lek is being discussed. Added to this confusion is the newcomers in the country, who have no previous experience with old lek, and are dumbfounded when a vender insists that the 500 written on the banknote reads as 5000. More often than not, prices of public tenders or contracts are reported by the media in old lek. Although politicians create the laws and created the new lek, they also refer to old lek, and former place names, and politicians dominate the media coverage. Business also commonly list their address as “next to” or “across from” a former landmark rather than the actual address. Tv Klan, for example, lists their address on Aleksander Moisiu Street, yet adds “close to Ish-Kinostudio”.

While common people may be excused from using colloquial terms, which in these cases are a sort of street slang, it is completely inexcusable for media and government to use these terms, as they simply are not true at this point in time.

Another possibility for the continued usage could be that there are so many Albanian migrants who had left the country when these terms were relevant, only to have since returned and continue to use the names that were in use when they left, but this is a rather extreme possibility.

Regarding the place names, Pazari i ri, or the new bazaar, was established to replace the old bazaar which was situated where the current Palace of Culture is, in Skanderbeg Square. Construction of the Palace of Culture began in 1959, so I would assume Pazari I ri must date to around that time, or about 50-60 years ago. Ironically, the new bazaar is situated in Old Tirana.

The area known as ish-Kombinati was once the location of several factories, including one named in honour of Joseph Stalin, and the word Kombinat translates as “combine”, referring to the workers in those factories. The factories, however were largely destroyed by the people after the fall of communism, yet the name has stuck.

kombinat 1964
Kombinat, 1964

The new Ministry of Culture, is now situated in the former Kinostudio, on Aleksander Moisiu street. Surely everyone in Tirana knows where is ish-kinostudio, but likely less than 1 in 10 people in the city know where Aleksander Moisiu street is. Eksposita doesn’t physically exist anymore, but is still a common reference point, even though the street that passes it is named in honour of Gjergj Fishta, who is a national literary icon, born in the 19th century and the first Albanian to be nominated for the Nobel Prize.

ish eksposita

This could have to do with the fact that many street names are recent in the country, thus reference points are needed for orientation. Yet it seems very strange for a young person, or a newcomer to refer to a place that is no longer there. This is not likely to change, and although the Train Station of Tirana has recently been destroyed, it is unlikely that the area where it stood will ever be referred to as the East side of the Boulevard, or any other name for that matter, and that area will continue to be referred to as the Train Station.

Why does any of this matter? It matters because a two level society has been created, where one group uses a particular set of terms that have no base in the present, and another group who uses the terms that are clear and evident. Essentially, it is a second language that is learned only through submersion into the culture, causing a false reality, and an extreme loyalty to the past. If this loyalty to the past is so prevalent, then it is a loud and clear indicator that the citizens value their cultural heritage of that period, just not in a way that can be learned in a book or a classroom, but through the wearing of “nostalgia glasses”.

Public Art in Albania

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Monuments, Memorials, Sculptures, Mosaics…

Click here to see the gallery Public Art in Albania

The idea of public art is to engage and involve the public, to offer distractions from the daily routine, to establish meeting points, to tell our stories, and in general to beautify the cityscape.

This photo blog will be an ongoing attempt to document the public artworks in Albania.  As the gallery expands, so will the blog, and accompanying analysis and discussion.

This project is within the scope of Wikiproject Wikipedia Saves Public Art.  Our gallery can be found on Flickr.com by clicking the link below.

Ekphrasis Studio’s Gallery of Public Art in Albania

March 2015

Aleks Buda

…another bust….

Alex Buda (Albanian: Aleks Buda) (1910–1993) was a historian born to a family of Jewish origin in Elbasan, Ottoman Empire (modern day Albania). After completion of his education in Italy and Austria, he returned to Albania. Although his education was in literature, he made a career as a historian during the socialist period in Albania. He was a member and president of the Academy of Sciences of Albania.

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Eftali Koci Durres

Plaque of Eftali Koçi in Durres

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Beginning September 29, 2013, works by contemporary Swiss and Albanian artists (Nikolin Bujari, Kueng Caputo, Ledia Kostandini, Matilda Odobashi, Guadalupe Ruiz, Susanne Schar & Peter Spillmann, Studio 203 & Romeo Kodra and Johannes Willi) will be exhibited along the Tirana-Shkodra highway.  Tirana Art Lab has organized the exhibition as well as a bus tour of the artworks.

June 2013

Wallpan

The artwork entitled ‘Inside Out” consists of a series of wall sections decorated to resemble things found inside a home. The large mosaic makes up 3 ‘carpets’, with a fourth ‘carpet’ next to it, as though being hung to dry on the wall. The piece also contains 2 mirrored mosaics, and 1 chalk board to encourage citizen interaction. The artist is Jedidjah Slagter, who was assisted by members of the local community from age 14 to 70 years. The artwork was made possible through the cooperation of community members, personal funding, and neighbourly labour.  This project has no relation to Municipal or State government, and was supported by Ekphrasis Studio and the artist.

This artwork can be seen in front of the Ditart Centre, at the corner of Rruga Mustafa Lleshi and Rruga Pjeter Budi, on the way to the student city.

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The following is a gallery featuring a selection of artistic representations of females in Albania’s public art.

Spring 2013, degradation is swift at the new 5 month old Independence Monument in Tirana

June 13, full of feces.

May 15, 2013

“Weeks, months after the death of my friend, Sabri Godo, with dozens of requests and initiatives came to me as mayor by his loving friends, to have his memory live on in the capital city”  Tirana Mayor Lulzim Basha declared at the inauguration of the bust of politician Sabri Godo. The bust was done by Italian artist Paolo Viaggi.

Inaugurated May 10, 2013

Amazing that Tirana, and every city in Albania, continues to make monuments, without any attention to the care of existing monuments, such as the 5 month old ‘Monument to Independence’ standing in the centre of Tirana, which has been badly damaged and vandalized without any effort to make repairs.  (See below or click here).

The state of the new Monument of Independence in Tirana as of April 7, 2013. (above)

November-29-17-10-23monumenti

Inauguration less than 5 months earlier (above)

A collection of remnants of pre 90′s Eastern Europe in the centre of Tirana.  This installation was designed by Fatos Lubonja and Ardian Isufi, and is entitled ‘Post-bllok” (Checkpoint). It consists of a bunker that once guarded the site as well as mine shaft columns from Spac prison, and a segment of the Berlin Wall.  Lubonja is a critic and novelist who served 17 years in prison before 1991.  Isufi is an established artist who has exhibited internationally and has twice been awarded Onufri prizes.

Please check these links to mainstream media outlets for more information, and feel free to leave your thoughts about this installation, or any other artistic public spaces.

Ky regjim na kujton përditë bunkerin – Magdalena Ramohito

Post-bllok Memorial Inaugurated – Tirana Municipality

Tiranë, përurohet memoriali Postbllok, incidente me ish-të përndjekurit politikë

Përurohet memoriali “Post-Bllok”, instalacion për izolimin komunist

“Postblock” at the entrance of former “Block”

Inaugurohet memoriali “Postbllok”, Berisha: Nderim atyre që sakrifikuan për lirinë

Tiranë, promovohet “Postbllok”vepra kundër sundimit totalitar

Plaques at former residences of ‘artists of the people’ in Tirana

violeta manushi fatmir haxhiu

dhimiter shuteriqi

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Since 2007, the city of Korca has held an international sculpture symposium which has filled much of the city with art.  The 2011 event can be viewed here.

Korca - Sculpture Park ..

In early February 2013, The Ministry of Culture and the National Art Gallery announced  a competition for a statue dedicated to Dom Nicholas Kacorri, vice prime minister to Ismail Qemali in 1912.

dom

Proposals are to be “figurative and realistic”. The chosen work will be made of bronze, and placed in Durres.  An artist or group of artists must submit with three color photos (front, profile and back), with dimensions not smaller than A4 (29x21cm), a complete CV of the artist or group, and a personal photo of the artist. The competition begins on 1 April 2013 and ends on 29th April.  The winner will be chosen by a jury from the MTKRS and the prize will be 1,700,000 lek.

New monument to Adem Jashari, by Embassy Street in Tirana.  Artist: Mumtaz Dhrami

Reports from media in May, 2013 state that the bust of Jashari that was previously in this location is now in the trash.

Do you notice he has no shirt?

Inaugurated December 8, 2012, at the new “Democracy Square” in the Student City of Tirana.  During the inauguration, Hajdari’s wife stated  “I take this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister who was the initiator of this memorial and it was he who gave the idea that this bust stand and where the student movement has begun”

Artist's rendition

azem hajdari

Monument to Hajdari in front of PD Headquarters, where he was shot.

Hajdari was a leader in the Student Movement of 1990, and was briefly the first Chairman of the Democratic Party of Albania. Four times elected MP (’91 Shkoder, ’92 Shijak, ’96 Bulqize, ’97 Tropoje), as well as an active supporter of sports. There had been several attempts on Hajdari’s life, including once in Parliament.  He was finally gunned down in front of the Democratic Party Headquarters in 1998.  While this case has been ‘closed’, many mysteries and theories remain in people’s mind as to what really happened to Hajdari.

Tirana - Zog I Tirana - Zog I detail

New statue of King Zog I.

Tirana - Ismail Qemali

Ismail Qemali, first Prime Minister of Albania.

November 2012 is shaping up to be a big month for public sculpture, especially in Tirana.  Already unveiled are the busts of former US President Wilson and Hero of the people Hasan Prishtina.  Also coming are busts of Ismail Qemali, King Zog and several others later this week.  This was announced in as part of a competition run by the National Gallery of Albania.  The interesting part is that despite specific specifications for the Qemali monument the chosen sculpture was one that already existed in the Gallery’s collection, done by Odhise Paskali many years ago.

Here are the details of the competition for the Ismail Qemali statue, as outlined on the website of the National Gallery of Albania.

STATUE OF ISMAIL QEMALI
Data:
The height of the statue shall be up the 3 meters high.

The height of the pedestal shall be 1.20 meters high.
The width of the pedestal depends on the composition of the artist.
The inscription is part of the statue. Its placement and dimensions will be decided following the idea of the winning model, approved by the jury.
The artist/group of artists of the winning model receive a pre-tax artistic reward of 1,700,000 ALL.

It is also interesting to note that Point 17 of the general conditions for the competition states: The artist, or the group of artists, should bring in alongside the sketch model a photo of the model, a full CV and a personal photo. Such documentation is valuable for the work and discussions of the jury. It is also important for archival purposes. Interesting that the winning artist in this case is deceased.

On September 27 it was reported by Alma Mile that the Council of Ministers signed the funds to be used for the creation of several historical monuments marking the 100th anniversary of Independence:

– 57 108 870 (fifty-seven million one hundred and eight thousand eight hundred and seventy) ALL for monumental work “100 Years of Independence”.
– 12 013 258 (twelve million thirteen thousand two hundred and fifty-eight), for the realization of the monument dedicated Lushnja Congress, which will be located in the city of Lushnja.
– 5 365 020 (five million three hundred sixty-five thousand and twenty) ALL for the realization of the work monumental statue, dedicated to the figure of Hasan Prishtina.
– 5 460 180 (five million four hundred and sixty thousand one hundred and eighty) ALL for the realization of the work monumental statue, dedicated to the figure of King Zog I.

On August 3rd 2012, the newest piece of public art was unveiled in Albania in the village of Bushat, Shkodra.  It was funded by the US-Albanian communities, paying homage to poet/priest Ndre Mjeda.

Also recently, the statue of Fan Noli was moved 50 meters from Murat Toptani street in front of the Institute of Sciences to an open spot adjacent to George W. Bush Street.

Speaking of George W. Bush, his statue is located in Fushe Kruja.  The sculpture was unveiled on July 6, 2011 to mark the former president’s 65th birthday, and displays a short-sleeved Bush, standing in the centre of George W. Bush square.

Also new, is a sculpture of John Lennon in Durres.  The sculpture was designed by artist Qazim Kërtusha, and was supported by the municipality of Durres, and a ‘private’ bank.  The work has been in place since May, 2011.

At the end of October, 2010, the bronze bust of artist Sabri Tuci was stolen in Durres, not far from where the sculpture of John Lennon is situated.  Previously, the letters attached the the description of the artwork had been removed as well.  They have likely been sold as scrap metal.  (Lennon’s glasses were also recently stolen).

Sabri Tuci’s missing head

This is not uncommon in Albania, and the struggles regarding art and heritage management are enormous.  Vandalism, improper care and maintanance, natural degradation, theft and political decisions to remove and/or relocate public artworks are just a few of the issues.  This last point is likely to be a major concern in the years to come, as talk continues to mount about removing all reminders of Communist Albania.

Ekphrasis Studio’s Gallery of Public Art in Albania

Artist Genti Tavanxhiu, originally from Shkodra, has become a very established sculptor throughout Europe, including 18 works in Italy, and others in Turkey, Germany, Spain, France Romania and UAE, yet he has only one work in Albania, in Korca, where has also been a participant in the International Sculpture Symposium.

In contrast, from the 1930s and well into the communist period, Odhise Paskali had completed around 600 sculptures, including still recognizable and cherished works such as Skanderbeg in Tirana,  works are The Flag Bearer (Flamurtari 1932, Vlore), The National Fighter (Luftëtari Kombëtar 1932, Korca), The Mountaneer (Malësori), Jeronim DeRada, Naim Frasheri, Naum VeqilharxhiThe Unknown Soldier (Ushtari i panjohur), Vojo KushiFan Noli, Onufri and Migjeni.

To view our gallery of public art in Albania, please click the following link:

Ekphrasis Studio’s Gallery of Public Art in Albania