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Tirana Open 1

May 6 –13, 2015

Tirana Open 1 presents the first of its kind event in the Balkans, bringing together under one umbrella an unprecedented array of Albanian and International cultural institutions presenting a rich multi-disciplinary program of exhibitions, events, and public interventions. Reflecting on a city that is at once an old Roman center, Ottoman outpost, Italian Novecento archetype, Fascist utopian dream, an example of Stalinist brutalism, and finally, a model of contemporary (non) architecture run amok, Tinana Open explores its locale as a vibrant lab of cultural hybridity and an alternative model for urban development and audience engagement.

Tirana Open 1 is an invitation to a pass-the-word that Tirana is the urban square that has no cultural barriers, but only porous borders of cultural belonging” says festival co-director Helidon Gjergji. “By inviting international cultural institutions to participate in this city-wide happening, we hope to make the local institutions and citizens of Tirana feel a bit like visitors in their own city, and to make visitors feel like citizens of Tirana. This is not a roleplay, but a playful reality.”

paMUR, the festival’s contemporary arts section, presents a special guest project by celebrated artist William Kentridge (South Africa), alongside a a juried competition of video art by prominent international and local artists, including Yuri Ancarani (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino), Olivo Barbieri (MAXII, Rome), Henry Chapman (T293 Gallery, Naples), Donika Cina  (Galeria e Vogël, Tirana), Alberto Di Fabio (Gagosian Gallery, London), Nathalie Djurberg (Museo Pascali, Polignano a Mare, DZT Collective (Stefano Romano & Eri Çobo), TICA (Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art), Tirana, Yllka Gjollesha (Zeta Gallery, Tirana), Elis Gjoni (Art Kontakt, Tirana), Felix Gmelin (Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art, Prishtina), Ibro Hasanovic (Tirana Art Lab, Tirana), Aurora Kalemi (Zenit Gallery, Tirana), Santiago Mostyn (Moderna Museet, Malmö), Alban Muja (Tulla Culture Center, Tirana), Marzena Nowak (Gregor Podnar Gallery, Berlin), Matilda Odobashi (FAB, Tirana), Anri Sala (Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Zurich), Sissi (MAM Foundation, Tirana), Cauleen Smith (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago), Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki),
The Two Gullivers (Flutura Preka & Besnik Haxhillari; Marina Abramovic Institute,Hudson,New York), Nasan Tur (Blain/Southern Gallery, London), Nico Vascellari (The National Gallery of Arts, Tirana), Kostis Velonis (Kunsthalle Athena, Athens), Driant Zeneli (Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella). Granting an award named after the renown Albanian artist Danish Jukniu, competition jury includes Edoardo Bonaspetti (Mousse Magazine), Cathryn Drake (Artforum & Frieze Magazine), and Michele Robecchi (Phaidon). Artist Adrian Paci (Shkodër/Milano) will be delivering a featured artist talk.

The Music Venice Biennale and Italian contemporary opera company Cantieri Teatrali Koreja will tour to Albania its aclaimed productionKatër i Radës. Il Naufragio. The festival will also feature concerts by prominent bands Fanfara Tirana and Gipsy Groove. Film selections include DocuTIFF, showcsing pioneering documentary cinema organized by the Tirana International Film Festival (TIFF), as well as a side-program of four recent Israeli films presented by The Academy of Film and Multimedia (MARUBI). Urban Laboratory Tirana Albania (ULTRA) will mount its an annual festival of commentary and ideas on urban life and the built space in the context of Tirana’s ever-changing nature of urban space, curated by Elian Stefa. Tirana Open’s expansive book fair exhibits stands by the majority of Albania’s book publishers, daily reading events, and the Ardian Klosi Prize for best non-fiction book. 

Tirana Open 1 Directors: Arlinda Dudaj, Helidon Gjergji & Vladimir Myrtezai-Grosha. Tirana Open 1 is organized by Tirana Open, under the auspices of Edi Rama, Prime Minister, and the Ministry of Culture, Republic of Albania.

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