Art and Public Space

“Teatri i Gjelbërimit” shows the overabundance of sketches, thoughts, ideas, and dreams of Tirana as a giant, overstocked theater bursting at the seams – as a love letter to the city.

Bert Theis, Tirana pa makina, 2003
Nowadays, urbanism in Tirana seems to be dictated by the necessity of a historical arc that starts with the superposition of a fascist axis of Boulevard and Lana upon the organically grown Ottoman town. The imperialist gesture of foreign architects then, is repeated once again today.
DZT collective, Histoeri removing, 2012
Top: Bert Theis, Tirana pa makina , 2003. Above: DZT collective, Histoeri removing , 2012
But there is also another, alternative historical arc, as we suppose that there are many more. In 1937, a young Italian landscape architect, Pietro Porcinai, proposed to create a “Teatro di verzura” (Theater of Vegetation) in the garden of King Zog, close to the current location of the amphitheater near the Lake of Tirana. The main architectural component of this structure was precisely vegetation: grass, trees, bushes.
Fabrizio Bellomo, Vegla Ben Ustain, 2016
Fabrizio Bellomo, Vegla Ben Ustain , 2016
This alternative history has not been lost to the many artists, designers, and architects, who, ever since the late 1990s, have attempted to imagine and reimagine Tirana – as a city, organ, fabric, home, studio – in the few pockets that allowed for independent thinking and creation.
Helmut Dick_Blackbox 2006
Helmut Dick, Blackbox , 2006
Rather than showing the “grave” of thinking and imagination, “Teatri i Gjelbërimit” shows the overabundance of sketches, thoughts, ideas, and dreams of Tirana as a giant, overstocked theater bursting at the seams – as a love letter to the city.
Olafur Eliasson, The collectivity project, 2006
Olafur Eliasson, The collectivity project , 2006

23 October – 1 November 2016
Teatri i Gjelbërimit
curated by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Stefano Romano, Ardian Isufi
FAB Gallery, Tirana

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