Onufri Prize. 23rd International Art Exhibition.
AU FIL DU TEMPS – Collective memory, personal memories

20 December 2017 – 30 January 2018

Calixto Ramirez, En el olvido, 2013, video, 1min 15sec, courtesy of the artist (frame)

Art curator: Gaetano Centrone
Artists: Zeni Ballazhi, Adi Haxhiaj, Koja, Perino & Vele, Leonard Qylafi, Calixto Ramírez, Jelena Tomasevic, Vangjush Vellahu, Alketa Xhafa Mripa, Fani Zguro.

The exhibition offers an itinerary that takes place in the rooms of the National Gallery of Arts of Tirana. There are ten participating artists from six different countries; all of them were born in the 70’s and in the 80’s and have a noteworthy international curriculum. The point of view of the curator Centrone was to find – however it is possible – a denominator which combines the experience of the majority among the Albanian artists, because he started from them during his research, with the intention of being actual and international. As a result of years of study, he has observed the prevalence of the history in their works. However he has no intention of creating a political exhibition, that is not the curator’s aim, there is a great difference between the cultural element and the socio-political one. Therefore the concept of time becomes a key element. The way how time incises our mind and what remains as ex post. The difference between collective memory and personal memories is very light, more than we would think. Also the difference between singular and plural form is more complex than we would think. Is there only one or are there more collective memories? And who creates them? And how much personal memories are influenced by historical events? It is useless to deny the fact that in this part of the world historical events have heavily affected the populations’ past.

For the title, the curator has sought help from a marvellous expression from the French language: au fil du temps. In English, for example, it could be translated as over time, but the real beauty can be found actually in the original meaning: on the thread of time. A thread which waves together history and personal histories, pushing from above with the different polyphonic voices of a story.

The newness of the present, the history in the background.