History + Conflict + Dream + Failure = HOME
How long would it take to count the elements creating what we call ‘home’? And what about the time it would take to identify the ones that can destroy it?
The ‘home’ of the upcoming Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale will be grounded on four elements: history, intending the archive of the unaccountable number of individual stories, recorded or forgotten. Conflict, to consider the way we share homes. Dream as the project of home, as the fundamental human right to be free to choose and desire our real or imaginary home. Failure as the inner resistance of the various attempts, transformed along the way in search for the dream home.
Mediterranea 18, Young Artists Biennale will be hosted for the first time between the cities of Tirana and Durrës, in Albania. Taking place in a country, which is defined by its forced, isolated past, and its turbo-transition from communism to capitalism in only 25 years, the Biennial will focus on a component which is currently, more than ever, put at risk in the politics of present society. In a geopolitical area where history, conflict, dream and failure are navigating the opaque waters of everyday life, home becomes an emergency to be technically reconsidered and collectively re-defined.
The sense of home becomes scattered while the speed of technology and the growing complexity of political, social and economic structures are revealing borders that for a while were made invisible. Today, more than ever, these borders need to be re-discussed. It might be that in the present time of cultural post humanism the challenge that art is facing is to restore comfort in relation to what and where is home, why and how we need it. Art can consider home as a process rather than a single statement, hosting millions of elements within which the self is not lost nor found, but in constant transformation. The search for safeness must take on risks and open up a dialogue amongst ‘homes’ – whether they are physical, virtual, spiritual or imaginary.
Mediterranea 18’s ambition is to present art that dares the past, present and future notions of ‘home’. For once, art should not be made for criticism or provocation, but rather, it should be made with the task of recycling (instead of proposing) new alternatives. In this way, it will find its own home in the errors of the process, in the waiting time of reparation, in the insecurity of the test.
Driant Zeneli – Artistic Director of Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale
The conflicts, crisis and oppressions that have been present in the long historical term now call for the redefinition of the imaginary. For example, the once Orientalized perception of the Middle East, appropriated by harsh reality, resulted with a brutalized image of the Mediterranean that needs to be rearticulated.
The age bracket of BJCEM coincides with the age demographics that advertising aims to instrumentalise for the overproduction of material goods and thus the inherited (controversial) vision of the region at stake.
However, most artists under the age of 35 constitute the precarious, nomadic, yet radical force of the society that is capable of tackling the conflicts, crisis and oppressions from a non-compromising standpoint. The times call for a meaningful artistic action to clearly and defiantly suggest a way of dealing, beyond divisions, with the complexities of the Mediterranean.
The home in the decadent world might be a shelter, a mansion or a place for domestic labor, but it is always the smallest unit of power in the society that requires balance. It is also the sphere of conviviality that should be tackled in a way that it relates to the critical understanding of the contemporary condition.
The artists are expected to reflect upon the alternative conditions of artistic production and distribution that is capable of reviving the sense of belonging and proximity.
The call for proposals is widely open from the image-based media (painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, digital art) to post-conceptual and discursive practices (installations, publications, audio, performance etc.).
Maja Ćirić – Mediterranea 18 Visual Art Curator
There is a long tradition of ephemeral dwelling and adaptability in the Mediterranean area, which has allowed these features to become an integral part of its identity over time. They represent the meeting point of reliable functional needs with the aspiration, often utopian, towards an extreme desire of freedom and flexibility. The emergency theme connects to the concept of home just as the sense of uncertainty does with the desire for stability. In the context of needing a response to rapidly changing situations and persistent social conditions, different forms and elements of dwelling can generate.
The purpose of this exhibition is to reconsider the meaning of what we call home nowadays, what we qualify as domestic elements and how we value their significance in relation to the surrounding. A subjective analysis of the embodiment of home and the domestic elements, unlike considering pre-established facts, can lead to a wide range of interpretations. Therefore, by speculating on the interaction between meaning, the pre-existing larger socio-cultural context and personal histories – conflicts – dreams – failures, the value of home can be determined in the mere formal response to unpredictable circumstances.
Through the disciplines of applied arts (architecture, street art and urban intervention, visual design, digital creations) this exhibition attempts to investigate how contemporary practices could reshape and imagine innovative forms of domestic space, dwelling and adaptability in the Mediterranean area, backed by an expanding global market and rapid social transformations.
Creators, architects, designers, and thinkers are invited to submit up to a maximum of 3 projects, applications, digital creations, sketches or ideas that question the meaning of home and its elements. Following a first selection, some of the proposals will be further developed and installed as public interventions, in collaboration with the Municipality of Tirana and Durrës.
Jonida Turani – Mediterranea 18 Applied Arts Curator
Traces of Mediterranean identities driven by human mobility and cultural exchange are deeply rooted in the multiple facets of Home, as a mosaic of societies and cultures through transformative processes throughout the history.
Through these processes people used material culture and mobility to establish, preserve or adapt their identities, especially during periods of cultural transitions and change.
Material culture in the context of Home throughout the history has constantly transformed and layered, often contradictory, elements to shape collective identities in the Mediterranean region. The region that historically was a space for human mobility and cultural exchange is being challenged by most recent “borderization” policies.
We are looking to exhibit films that are exploring how conflict and mobility, fueled by changing economic, demographic, political and social conditions have affected the redefinition and transformation of concept of Home. Films should intentionally leave their meanings open in order to make unique and compelling demands on their viewers, and possibly seek answers to some of the questions posed through their artwork.
Filmmakers and visual artists that experiment, explore and question the concept of Home through genres of fiction, experimental, animation, documentary and cross-genre films in short, mid-length and feature length categories, and are completed after December 2013, are invited to submit their works.
Films that promote racism, homophobia, or any other form of intolerance, or those that promote pornography shall not be taken into consideration.
Eroll Bilibani – DokuFest – Mediterranea 18 Film Curator
We look at Home not only as a specific location but as a bigger territory of identities and human expressions, hence in the music sector we will deal with Home (History, Conflict, Dream, Failure) as an atmosphere. In this regard we want music that leads us into actual homes, with actual stories and distinct cultural flavors that makes us think of “home” as a specific site.
This call welcomes musical projects that can lead us into different atmospheres of “home”, from the traditional (tribal) home of ever distant memories and mystic rituals, to the convenience of shared apartments in chaotic urban realms and everything in between. We welcome performances in the genres of World Music, Jazz, Fusion, Experimental and Electronica. This call is opened to groups as well as solo performances.
Tulla Culture Center Alban Nimani and Rubin Beqo – Mediterranea 18 Music Curator
….home? Home is built by ritual, home is where the ritual is influenced by social culture and the past , home is where the ritual is still growing.. Home IS a ritual of body, language, memories and dreams.
Europe today, is a space of arriving and departing bodies, that cross each other and get united in new ways of living together….Europe is the “home” that loses form…a silhouette… a dilemma…a conflict…silence…waiting…. is where the object inspires the memories and feeds the future, where the words build the invisible edge to find the answers:
“Where do my body and my soul find the peace?”
Home is a point of departure, home is a point of arrival, a journey that gives life to the artistic performance.
All the artists are invited to join this journey with solo performance, theater performance, poetic performance, group performance, work in process , multidisciplinary performance.
All the artists should be ready to perform in open space, out of the “safe zone”, in non-conventional stages.
Ema Andrea – Mediterranea 18 Performance Curator
The House of Commons – Micro Utopias Between Art and Education
We are faced with an ever-changing world, undergoing continuous transformation. In particular, the strong geopolitical drive of Europe’s educational and creative policies merges the former East and the former West into a single tradition of knowledge, thereby erasing decades of pre-existing models. Today’s rapid spread of globalisation challenges militantism in art, the democratic transmission of knowledge, collaborative practices, and the experience of art from a collective point of view. Heading towards a future of personal, creative and autonomous interactions, free from the control of technocrats, means transforming different forms of art in vectors of social change within systems in a delicate balance. As Ivan Illich stated in his book Deschooling Society (1970), “the process of degradation is accelerated when nonmaterial needs are transformed into demands for commodities”. Experiences should then find unexpected reasons, while narratives should find resilience and flexibility.
Visual artists, photographers, sound artists, curators, writers, poets, pedagogues, teachers, students and philosophers are invited to present poems, literary texts and philosophical essays, projects, workshops, collective or individual performances, sound pieces, collective writing and reading, parades, choirs and instructions. They are called to epitomise a sense of idealism and to pursue new ways into the problematic of education and creativity, defying the limitations of bureaucratic pragmatism.
During the lifespan of the Mediterranea 18 Young Artist Biennale its key elements – History, Conflict, Dream, Failure, Home – will inspire radical pedagogical practices and alternative means of producing knowledge, including a new vocabulary and new negotiations between institutional and self-organized cultures.
The venue itself will become a living artwork, whose main role will be to create an inspiring learning environment through the shared knowledge of art, literary production, critical practice, education and process philosophy. Each place will embody a different approach to the aforementioned issues to create an educational and inspiring environment, works that involve local communities (i.e. students, retired people, teenagers, kids, etc.) and that will directly involve the public in sharing process of creation and cultural production will be privileged. It will be a common search for other languages and other modalities of knowledge production and diffusion, a pursuit of other modes of entering the problematic of “education”.
ALAgroup members will support and foster the relationship between the applicants and the city of Tirana to empower the projects and workshops dealing with the challenge of ‘inhabiting knowledge’.
ALAgroup Maria Rosa Sossai – Mediterranea 18 Literary Creation Curator