Albanian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

  • When:   April 20, 2024 - November 24, 2024

Contemporary artArt Exhibitions in Venezia


Albanian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia
Iva Lulashi. Love as a Glass of Water. Padiglione dell’Albania alla 60. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte – La Biennale di Venezia. Foto Andrea Rossetti

The "theory of the glass of water" dates back to the pre-revolutionary Russian period and is linked to the radical thinker and feminist Alexandra Kollontai (St. Petersburg, 1872 – Moscow, 1952). It is a the- ory based on the idea of a sexual revolution where impulses are seen as a simple human necessity that must be satisfied with the light- ness and carefreeness that a glass of water is usually drunk with. It had a significant influence on artistic and literary circles of those years, but was immediately opposed by the revolutionary political establishments.

At first glance, the metaphor of the glass of water may seem to only raise the aspect of simplicity in the gesture of drinking. But it's cru- cial not to forget that water is the basic condition for life, just like love. Love, sex, and desire are still today the last great eternally revolution- ary force, inherently resistant to the firm control of power, whether it is political, economic, or ideological. It's a supra-political and struc- tural force, similar to that of water, elusive, at times peaceful, but still able to overcome any obstacle.
Love, desire - especially of feminine nature - impulse, and sexu- ality are at the core of Iva Lulashi's work: universal subjects able to transcend differences and overcome boundaries. The images in her paintings are mostly taken from erotic and pornographic film and vid- eo stills, usually little known, which serve as the painting's initial deto- nator. They are mainly populated by female bodies and suggest sce- narios where the erotic act is potentially involved - as if they were a "right before" or "right after" - without explicitly showing it. The artist's strength lies in her ability to find and recreate images. The paintings stand out for their "photographic" attitude, but at a closer look they manifest themselves as strongly painterly, made of a livid liquidity, of synthetic brushstrokes devoid of any affectation, leaving many parts of the painting deliberately unresolved and almost abstract. They are an ode to feminine desire, encompassing strength, fear, hope, a de- sire for freedom, dark sides, and vitality: inseparable themes from a not-yet-past past, laden with global political issues, which one must deal with every day and every night.
The concept of the Pavilion itself is, in its structure, very simple and radical: we brought the painter's house/studio into the Venice Arse- nale, projecting the layout into the space of the Albanian Pavilion. The public can thus see the paintings in the place where they were born and lived before "going out into the world". The Pavilion becomes an artwork itself, a gigantic sculpture turned into a display for the paint- ings, between intimacy, voyeurism and sensuality. The floorplan and certain details immediately define the environment, although the house has been outlined with everything minimized, devoid of furni- ture and windows. Iva's house/studio has been a key meeting point for friends and colleagues in recent years. Iva has organized several exhibitions there, curated together with some friends; it is therefore a curatorial and symbolic space in Milan that the new generation of painters look at.

Iva Lulashi embodies the theme of the Biennale Arte 2024, Stra- nieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere. Born in Albania in 1988, at the age of ten she moved to Italy with her family and currently lives in Milan. Her style blends the Albanian pictorial tradition with the Italian and Venetian one. Indeed, she trained as a painter in Venice, a cos- mopolitan city par excellence. The Albanian Pavilion of this edition will therefore be closely tied to Venice, the city of water and glass (many would also say of love...), always symbiotic with the stranger and the foreigner, where anyone can feel like a citizen. In this city Iva attended the Academy of Fine Arts, which, in the last twenty years, has become a meeting place for young people from around the world, and one of the most interesting laboratories for new painting in Italy.

Antonio Grulli

Love as a Glass of Water exhibition will be accompanied by a cata- logue published by bruno, a publishing house based in Venice dis- tributed internationally by Les Presses Du Réel.
Inside the catalogue, in addition to images of the works exhibited, there will be critical texts by Antonio Grulli, Edi Muka, Tea Paci, Jennifer Higgie, a poem by Luna Miguel and a conversation with the artist curated by Carlo Sala.

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Title: Albanian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

Opening: April 20, 2024

Ending: November 24, 2024

Organization: La Biennale di Venezia

Curator: Antonio Grulli

Place: Venezia, Arsenale

Address: Venezia

More info on this website: https://labiennale.org



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