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Edmon Gijkopul, Albanian artist and photographer writes:
"Like a film fragment standing daily before our eyes, a film where we feel being at the same time viewers and actors, Albania of the years 2000 is obsessed by a consumerist fever; from the beginning of another system of references, which nevertheless, unable to substitute entirely the old one and matching everyday with him, is aiming to reach a much dreamed Eldorado.
We experience around us a strong logging for consume, a logging which gradually is transforming our psyche and our system of values, but that nevertheless hasn’t been able to reach the essence of what is original, “exotic”, interesting and sincere. These are moments that I see everyday, people that I know, people living the everyday poetic and prosaic moments of existence, people anonymous and real in the capitalist Albania of the years 2000. Transforming the brush in camera, focusing a moment almost “occasional”, of a objectivity which doesn’t conceal the sympathy, creating by purpose the feeling that this game will continue endlessly and in every place.
They stick together everyday, indefatigable, in the rain and sun, in the summertime and winter, waiting for a new destination. They have come at the bazaar of “Pharmacy 10” from everywhere around the world, Turkey, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Italy and Greece. Initially they were in sacks, then they have traveled for thousand miles, have passed borders and finally they have arrived here, to perform the usual ritual, without knowing that some time ago, it was very difficult to find one of them in this country.
All the childhood desires are there, Robocop, Spiderman, the orange teddy bear, the pink bunny and the capricious Barby doll. You also can find there carpets with yellow flowers, multicolored scarves, toy mobiles, sofas and mattresses. Then you can find make up accessories, curtains, fabrics, plastic vases, shoes and high heel white sandals. They are all here, to create an ocean of wanted objects for the actors of this vernacular consumist Albanian ritual.
This name has something unusual, but you can find it everywhere in the Albanian surroundings. The superpose, juxtaposition, alignment, measuring, cutting and then the loading and the transportation towards another destination, make the destiny of those colorful rolls, then later are transformed in curtains, sofas vestures, bride dresses and groom costumes, and fulfill the modern, snob, folkloric and sometimes “kitch” image of the Albanians.
“Fabric by kg” means that today we have reach the happy day where is enough to have money, and you can have anything you want, even if you have to give something of your soul and heart, eager for materialist welfare richness. “Fabric by kg” is the equivalent of “beans by meter”, but who cares, the important thing is to sell and to buy so we can extinguish our consume eager.
90 years ago, in a poor family from Tirana, was born Myslym Shyri. In 1944, when he was 28 years old, a communist and antifascist, he was killed from the Nazi. After the liberation, in his honor a street in Tirana was called after him. Now days, “Myslym Shyri”, paradoxically, personifies the image of capitalist Tirana, the class, the taste and the ideal of the consumers. A very few from its costumers knows the origin of the name of this street. They pass by, take a glance at the bright and twinkling shop windows, living with the desire to have everything that radiates prosperity and attempt with every meaning to join the high class of the consumers. The white, cold and inanimate manikins has change, long ago the original meaning of the street name. “Myslym Shyri”, Blloku, “Farmacia 10” etc, are denominations that have a complete different meaning, but are part in a surrealist Albanian environment, which brings in mind the linguist experimentations of Magritte, where the game object-nomination has essential importance.
Teddy bears and bunnies
“Fabric by kg”
Vacationers, sunshades, ambulant sellers, balls, and colorful balloons, anonymous characters , cute, grotesque and at the same time, typical at the overpopulated beaches, full with noise, clamor, turbofolk music, grilled corn smoke, desires, extreme goals that have no connection with one-other, but have choose the same place to spend one weekend of their existence. Somewhere far is the sea, indifferent and immense, that waits everybody in its giant belly.
It is very difficult to distinguish the borderline between the fun and survival in all this mishmash. They coexist, as everywhere else, here too, under this unusual grey sky of a midsummer Sunday in the most popular beach of Albania, turning in a typical sequence of everyday Albanian life. In this daily journey together with “Mickey Mouse”, football balls, sweat and Turkish solar lotion, maybe today it will be a good day for you too.
“At the beach”
We presents: Edmond Gjikopulli
tel: +32 475 506 266; firstname.lastname@example.org