Albanian Trilogy: A Series of Devious Stratagems, a project by Armando Lulaj, curated by Marco Scotini, will represent the Republic of Albania at the 56th Venice Biennale.
Lulaj’s and Scotini’s project was selected through an open call for proposals and announced by the Ministry of Culture, as the commissioner of the Albanian pavilion, a process that marks a first for the Albanian contemporary art scene. The jury has motivated its decision as follows:
“With Albanian Trilogy: A Series of Devious Stratagems, Armando Lulaj pursues the investigation of available readings of Albanian history from the Cold War to the present day by reintroducing once highly representative and politically charged images and narratives still ingrained in the people’s visual memory, in a way that goes far beyond a subjective questioning of one nation’s history to forcefully account for a general analysis of the ruins and failures of modernity.”
“Lulaj’s ability to create connections and contexts that are not obvious but at the same time persuasive, the visual appeal of the works themselves (It Wears as It Grows, Never and Recapitulation) as well as the installation, which manages to be both playful and monumental at the same time– a rare achievement, ensure that Albanian Trilogy: A Series of Devious Stratagems will be able to engage a wider public, apart from those who are interested in and informed about Albanian history.”
Albanian Trilogy: A Series of Devious Stratagems represents for Lulaj the conclusion of many years of research on the Cold War period in Albania and beyond, on the role of the past in the present; as well as on memory and historical experience – research conducted through archive material, and in particular the “trophies” and the gaps of the past. The first work in this series is the film It Wears as It Grows, whereas the second one is Lulaj’s well known project Never, widely exhibited internationally. The third work, Recapitulation, will be produced especially for the 56th Venice Biennial.
Armando Lulaj (b. 1980, Tirana) is an artist, playwright and filmmaker living and working in Tirana, Albania.
His solo shows include: UNTITLED (Bologna: Galleria Cavour, 2014); Fiend (Tirana: National Theatre, 2013); Cold Wind (Bologna: Art Fair, 2013; Basel: Volta8, 2012); No More Feelings (Rovereto: Paolo Maria Deanesi Gallery, 2012); No Mercy (Milan: Artra Gallery, 2011); Silent Soziale Corruption (Munich: Stästische Kunsthalle München, 2010); Time Out of Joint (New Zealand: Te Tuhi Center for the Arts, 2007); Mainstream Dissent (Milan: Artra Gallery, 2006); Temporary Autonomous Zones (Tirana: Insurgent Space, 2005). He also participated in many international group shows, such as: Territories (Graz: centre for contemporary art, 2014); Lost in Landscape (Rovereto: MART Museum, 2014); Les Rencontres Internationales (Paris: Palais de Tokyo, 2014); The Empty Pedestal (Bologna: Museo Civico Archeologico, 2014); 63. Berlinale Film Festival (Berlin, 2013); 6th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (Berlin, 2010); 52th Venice Biennial, Albanian Pavilion (Venice: Palazzo Malipiero, 2007); 4th Gothenburg Biennial (Gothenburg: Roda Sten, 2007); Prague Biennial 3 (Prague, 2007), among others.
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