Double Feature # 3
Tirana Art Lab / TIRANA (Albania)
29.09.2015 – 31.10.2015

Fabrizio Bellomo is the third artist in residency for 2015 at Tirana Art Lab. Like many artists in residency at Tal, Bellomos artistic research and production process is a multi layered one that enriches the laboratory of TAL with new meanings. His residency in the capital city resulted in the creation of a public art intervention and a video work. And in these works, like in most of his other works, Bellomo draws a thin but settled line, between the social problematic, anthropological transformations and artistic interpretations.
And on this thin but settled line, it becomes possible to feel the aesthetic or ethical vibration of an artist that keeps searching and progressing like an acrobat balancing on a wire, whose beginning is known but the ending unknown. We could even say that Bellomo’s working practice is based on a research that goes beyond the meaning oriented result, a blind but balanced walk through the heart of social problematic, anthropological transformations and the artistic interpretations that seem to constitute the wire in which the artist walks.
Walking on this wire may seem paradoxical, while one side is connected with the will and the social engagement of the artist, the ethics the other side is connected with his artistic interpretation and the aesthetics. Bellomo walks on this tight wire, which connection we see only from one side. The other side remains invisible for us as viewers, always suspended; safe for the artist based on his aesthetics but still to be defined by the viewer. And here a question arises, an open challenge: is it possible to find in our societies of transition (former east) or chronic crises (former west), an aesthetics that can compensate at the same time the ethics?
At the work “The tool makes the master” the same question is being raised, the same challenge of Fabrizio Bellomo. How much art is there, or can be contained, in the roundabouts and crossroads of transition in the Albanian capital? How many times do we turn our heads while crossing the ”Dogana” (the name used to identify “Shqiponja” square) in Tirana this colorful city and full or art, in order to observe these human beings tighten up after their tools, in search for a client for the sake of earning their daily bread, or find a job that would bring them out of this transitional swirl. How much art is contained in this daily human drift and how can we experience our colorful contemporaneity without before experiencing the reality of the workers at “Dogana” square?
While Bellomo finds these drifted subjects in former-workers now unemployed, be it Albanian or Italian, alienated humans as a result of the tight relationship with the tools and machines, for the second artist ne Double Feature #3, Elton Baxhaku these are the Roma community. Together with them the artist emerges in the most miserable labyrinths of the Albanian society, there where tools are still semi primitive, but however still reciprocally affecting the relationship man-machine.
Video art functions for Elton as a means to redefine the lost purpose of documentary film. With video art Baxhaku – using image repetition and almost only autistic sounds - recharges his psycho-physical energies, gains his strength out of the social apathy of the unengaged Albanian society, in this never transiting transition, that spins around repeating itself (in sounds and images), that gives him the creative energy for an initiative, and action for a new social resistance. Although repetition is quite a simple strategy to justify the artistic creation, taking in consideration Baxhaku’s practice and works, it turns into a solid approach for both aesthetic and ethical aspects, likewise with Bellomo, with whom he shares the passion and cultivation for documentary cinema.
By bringing these two artistic positions together, we have tried once again to create the combination that characterizes the Double Feature format at Tirana Art Lab. We have tried once again to highlight the concept that the genesis of art is always at the bottom, at the periphery, the lower and repellent territories of society, but as well as from inside, by the contamination of foreign artists that at the same time contaminate the local context with the art potion, by cultivating it during their residency at TAL. Thank to this potion, thank to new meanings produced within the Albanian social corpus, at Tirana Art Lab and with “Double Feature #3”, we try once again to fulfill our mission as culture operators: to reformulate and remodify the art and culture competences inside our social context.

Courtesy of TAL
Photocredit: Eni Derhemi