Alma Bakiaj was born in Albania 1984 now lives in Greece. Alma Bakiaj works with different mediums including painting, installation, photography and video art. In her practice she focuses on the research, observation and analyzes of different human conditions taking as a starting point her life and everyday experience. Her paintings are detailed observations on a specific behaviour, gesture, movement or act, allowing her at the same time to deeply engage with the subject and reach a certain level of abstraction resulting in what one could call “uncertain images”.
Alban Hajdinaj works with objects and with images of objects that appear through photographs or paintings. The objects are usually ready-mades and belong to the simple domestic life, one could say that they are banal, even kitschy. Through matching objects and images, the artist creates unusual contexts full of tension. They are charged with the pressure to make a choice. And it’s a hard, essential choice between good and bad. However the works of Alban Hajdinaj are not dogmatic, but contradictory and full of a certain atmosphere of innocence despite the traumatised and painful context where the artist himself comes from.
Helidon Xhixha was born in 1970 in Durrës. Lives and works in Novara and Dubai. While waiting to begin his studies at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, he decided to move to Italy where he attended the Brera Art Academy of Milan. Awarded a scholarship in 1998, he attended London’s Kingston University where he developed his techniques of engraving, sculpting and photography. Xhixha graduated from Milan’s Brera Academy in February 1999. He had exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia 2015, Artissima Turin, Palazzo Reale Milan, Co-Pilot Istanbul, Temporary Gallery Cologne, Art Brussels, Art Cologne, Viafarini Milan and Palazzo Reale Turin.
Fani Zguro was born in 1977 in Tirana. Lives and works in Tirana, Milan and Berlin. Zguro has studied at Accademia delle Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. In 2008 he won the International Onufri Prize organized by National Gallery of Arts in Tirana. He has exhibited also at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, Collegium Artisticum Sarajevo, Filmoteca Espanola Madrid, Docva Careof Milan, 2nd Tirana Biennale, 3rd Mardin Biennale, 4th Young Artists Biennale of Bucharest, Contemporary Istanbul, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka, Public Library New York and National Center for Contemporary Moscow.
Matilda Odobashi was born in 1988, Tirana. She graduated at the University of Arts in Tirana in 2010. Her work is a reflection upon the interpersonal relations and issues of coexistence between people living and sharing common spaces. It expresses as well a critical view upon the common senses and what is perceived as ‘normal’ in a society when it comes to relationships, concepts of love and hate, good and bad etc. Even though her main medium are drawing and installation, she works as well with painting, photography and other new medias. She has participating in several international residencies and exhibition such as Salzburger Künstverein, Salzburg, Austria; Free Home University, Lecce, Italy; Jaw Dikh, Krakow, Poland; Art Market Budapest, Budapest, Hungary; Parallel Vienna Fair, Vienna, AustriaTirana Open 1- Pamur, The University of Arts, FAB Gallery, Tirana, Albania; Kultur Kontakt, Vienna, Austria (to come in 2016) etc.
Adrian Paci was born in Shkodër, Albania, in 1969. From 1987 to 1991 he attended the Akademia e Arteve in Tirana, Albania. He lectured in art history and aesthetics in Shkodër from 1995 until 1997, at which time he left his home country for Milan, escaping the violence of the armed uprising that roiled Albania that year. Paci’s position as an exile holds a central place in his oeuvre. His work frequently addresses themes of geographical separation, nostalgia, and memory, and conveys a keen sense of the mutability of life and art.
Endri Dani was born in 1987 in Shkodra, Albania. He lives and works as an artist and graphic designer in Tirana, Albania
His training as a painter permeates his photographs, videos and installations which tend to incorporate found objects;artifacts of ordinary life; elements of Albania’s history; and souvenirs. His recent work has been largely research oriented, dealing with the predicaments of Albanian life and its underlying paradoxes, particularly as they manifest themselves in material and consumer culture. I He is inspired by subjects that have touched me personally, or stories arising from my daily encounters. He try to let experientially-derived insights slide poetically towards a sort of ctional space where everything is possible. He also a co-founder of MIZA gallery, an artist-run-gallery in Tirana dedicated to the work of emerging Albanian artists.
Helidon Gjergji was born and raised in Tirana, Albania, where he first studied art and earned a BFA from the Academy of Arts in Tirana. With the opening of Albania's borders in 1991, he moved to Italy, where he further studied the visuals arts, obtained a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, Italy, and traveled widely throughout Italy and Europe. In 1997, he then moved to Chicago, where he earned an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University, Chicago, and had his first American exhibitions. He currently lives in New York City.
The artworks by Olson Lamaj act in real contexts to overwhelm or create disorder, seducing and hypnotizing the viewer. His research could be said ‘borrow-based’, where images and situations belonging to the community are ri-elaborated becoming reflections on human existential nature. Or they represent a sort of institutional critic without any judge on social and cultural dynamics of the milieu where the artworks are shown. Far from being nostalgic or plaintive, he basically acts as a fighter than as a victim. In his work there’s always an element typical of the parody, and this represents a Lamaj’s attitude expressed in a way similar to a “grin” rather than laughing. Highlighting the ambiguity or the two faces of the same ‘coin’, in his works he uses photography, video or installation. But they merely are functional means to convey a message than structural parts of his practice. In 2012 Lamaj was a co-founder of MIZA Gallery, an artist-run-space in the heart of Tirana that plays like an exhibiting vitrine for Albanian young artists to host and develop artistic projects the lectures in order to spark and increase the debate around the Albanian contemporary art scene.
Remijon Pronja is a visual artist born in 1984 in Tirana, Albania, where he currently lives and works. After his initial formation at the Artistic Lyceum "Jordan Misja" in Tirana, he moved to Italy. He studied painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and received his master degree in interdisciplinary research of contemporary visual art practices. Together with his colleagues Endri Dani and Olson Lamaj, he is a co-founder of MIZA Galeri, an artist-run space in central Tirana.
Dritan Hyska was born in 1980 in Korce, Albania. He lives and works between Venice, Italy and Tirana, Albania and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Venice. Dritan Hyska’s artistic research focuses on the urban realities of Albania and Italy through the representation of bridges, overpasses, glimpses of deserted cities, cement and construction.
Genti Korini was born in 1979, Tirana, Albania. He lives and works in Tirana, Albania. He studied painting at University of Art and Design, Cluj Napoca, Romania and graduated with an M.A, in Graphic Design and Painting at the University of Arts, Tirana.Genti Korini studies and reconstructs the modernist agenda of image and medium in his paintings and photographs. His works are architectural and painterly while retaining their abstract essence. The architecture of the Albania’s capital Tirana is primary inspiration behind Korini’s work. New formations emerge as a symptomatology for rapidly evolving ideologies. In the age of neoliberal freedom the ideological idiom has been hijacked and has found new forms of expressions in the domain of architecture. Korini’s examination of this trend reverberates throughout his work.
Heldi Pema was born in Albania. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, has attended Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts (Austria) several times, and was awarded AIR by “KulturKontakt” in Vienna and “O’Artoteca” in Milan. Heldi Pema’s artwork takes a critical view of cultural, social and political issues. He plays with the illusion of time and space, leading through his perception of the world. He uses a variety of materials and mediums such as photography, sound and installation. His recent interest involves old and new prints, texts and magazines as he develops a growing series of interventions. He reframes imagery by creating his own characters and stories.
Ledia Kostandini’s work focuses on social transformations of inherited and lost culture. She takes an ironic and often humorous approach to her work through the juxtaposition of cultural and social icons, suggesting a new perspective national events. Her works – photography, paintings and installations with mixed media objects – show a highly sensitive instinct for ideologies in different disguises. Kostandini analyzes the power of images and how they function within varied ideological systems, either in a visible or hidden way. Influenced by her country’s communist past and its threat of violence, Kostandini analyzes family stories and popular images to gain distance from the dynamics of economy and global capitalism.
Bora Baboci was born in 1988. She is in Tirana, Albania. Lives and works between Tirana and Berlin. Studied architectural design and criticism at the University of Toronto, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires and has a master’s degree in the same field at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Inspired by popular culture, urban informality and folklore, parallel to her studies she practiced the visual and performative arts. Starting from 2015 she worked as researcher and academic assistant at the Technischen Universität – Berlin, focusing on experimental housing and public typologies within the context of global migration. During 2017 she has attended a series of residencies and has been working towards a more independent and experimental practice.
THE TWO GULLIVERS, Flutura Preka and Besnik Haxhillari, have been working together as an artistic duo since 1998 under the name The Two Gullivers devoted to performance art. The concept of GULLIVER, inspired by Jonathan Swift’s fable, involves the idea of travel, emigration, displacement as an integral part of the work. They are the first artist couple and the first performance artists in Albanian art. Their performative and interdisciplinary approach touches on identity research and rapport with the other. Their works are developed in a dialogical way and arise from a composite multiple, identity, resulting from a constant negotiation. They realize exhibitions / events where installation works are animated by the presence, by their performance and by the interaction of the public. Their art is a platform of exchange and multiple dialogue.
The Two Gullivers
Gentian Shkurti was born in 1977 in Tirana, he graduated in 1999 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana, where he currently lives and works. His philosophy is best expressed by describing the work presented for Imago Mundi: “Conformity probably starts writing within squares 303 and lines school notebook. In the graph shown, a child wrote on the white surface of the frame of “Imago Mundi” a row of tables for multiplication. The lines of the notebook were added later“.