Vibrant photo exhibitions for art followers in Tirana

Vibrant photo exhibitions for art followers in Tirana

Tirana Times -

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  • Two exhibitions worth following in the capital’s galleries

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Two new exhibitions in Tirana deserve your attention,


In memoriam 23 January 2005-2015:   Team Albania Tsunami Assistance in Banda Aceh

After dinner we went to see the places most hit by the tsunami. A real horror. Houses, hotels, parking buildings, cars everything destroyed and rendered into worthless things. An entire life gone, extinguished lives and people who would stills smile and greet you with their head nods. Nothing had remained where once the coast was thriving. In the places where previously you could find even a beer, entertaining places, where you could swim in the wonderful sea now there were only ruins over other ruins and the smell of cadavers which were still rotting underneath the ruins that were left behind the rage of the sea. A bad feeling, a bad feeling that stayed with me the entire afternoon…

“Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind” was the only song that played in my mind in this Indonesian summer night…” Besian Pesha, Team Albania member

The memories written above from one of the Albanian members of the team that went to Banda Aceh after the infamous tsunami that hit the area and recorded his impressions in a blog. To commemorate this event, another participant in that trip, photographer and artist Gentian Ballta has put together one of the most original and thought-provoking exhibitions at the yard of the National Art Gallery in Tirana. A military dark green tent beckons visitors inside where among heaps of concrete ruins and a strong cold light that makes them uncomfortable they can see photographs from Aceh taken in 2005. Ten years after the horrendous natural catastrophe hit Indonesia, Ballta has chosen this way to commemorate the experience of Team Albania group of doctors and activists who went to contribute with the rescue and assistance missions.

The horror, the pain and the re-emergence of life, the persistence of beauty in nature and of hope in humans come across with ease and spontaneity from Ballta’s photos. They are also present in the documentary being screened inside the exhibition, poignantly entitled ‘Allah dos not love tears’, a production of the Top Channel crew where Ballta himself has been on the camera lens. The originality of the setting of this event creates the perfect embedding for the photos themselves. Ballta who dabbles in many forms of art including music is definitely a photographer to have on the radar.

From Constantiniyee to Istanbul and I have a story- complementary joint exhibitions on the glories of past and present Turkey

The Yunus Emre Institute of Turkish Culture in Tirana has put together two simultaneous exhibitions with thrilling photos and artistic installations that is very much worth visiting until February 3rd at the FAB Art Gallery on the backside of the University of Arts.

On the right side, sprawling on two floors one finds sepia coloured shots of the Bosphorus and the neighbourhoods of the most beautiful city on Earth. They smoothly kidnap the audience into the past. Memories and ghosts of era long gone and views that now have been ultimately altered due to modernization and commercialization of even the most historical site and neighbourhoods. Mosques, small harbours, Ottoman palaces and villas and people with nineteen century faces create the feeling of having stepped by chance into an old movie. One can almost hear the seagulls shriek together with the fishermen casting their nets from the villages on the shores of the Bosphorus.

Curated by Dr.M Sinan Gerim the exhibition is a testament of the immortality of an ever changing yet always magical place.

On the right side, one steps out of the past and into the present day impressions, feelings and artistic reflections of young Turkish artists that bring innovative artistic installations, various works with combined different techniques as well as two videos. Modernity and the diversity of cultures stand at the centre of this exhibition which tries to pierce through the metropolis. One cannot miss the installation inspired by the most successful Turkish export in the field of television: the sitcom Magnificient Century.  Curator Beste Gursu has succeeded to give a true and resounding voice to the youth art in Turkey and bring it to Albania through a display that leaves visitors perplexed yet smiling on their way to the doorstep.