The Unclaimed Stock as Archived Heritage
Samples of unclaimed stock materials and objects from the totalitarian past, found in the government’s storages, are brought at the attention of both artists and the larger public in order to reintroduce, reconsider and eventually rehabilitate their disparate past usages and connotations, through various contemporary forms of mediation. The project aims at finding creative ways that can both preserve and sustain our collective memory.
Could we bridge for dialogue between the end usage of these objects in the past and their future possible meanings? Could we emancipate these objects and set them free from their historical context and focus instead on the powerful testament of the Made in Albania Shelf and its unclaimed stock, that bear witness to the lost industries that provided them?
Left unattended for decades, this bizarre collection of mass products for industrial and domestic use comprises furniture, lighting and electrical materials, objects of decoration and entertainment.Some of them were purchased abroad during the dictatorship years for the exclusive use of the communist government leaders and their household. One can find a diverse range of objects in the storage: from porcelain bathtubs to billiard balls, from sickles and nails to toothpaste, from guitars to earrings, from bed sheets to chandeliers. In addition to these ‘luxury’ items and in complete contrast with them, one finds in the storage a large collection of ‘Made in Albania’ simple products from the local industries, for the use of the rest of the Albanian households, the modest homes where simple people lived isolated from the outside world. Such products remind us of familiar words from the vocabulary of that time: the Steel Factory in Shkoder, the “Stalin” Textile Factory in Berat, the Artisan Enterprise “Migjeni” in Tirana, the Glass Factory in Kavaja, to name only a few.
Thanks to the very strict inventory rules, endless meters of steel strings from the Shkoder factory, textile material from the Berat factory, and original souvenirs produced by the artisan factory in Tirana are fortunately still with us, although they may be the last remaining meters, pieces and kilograms left as testimony of the past. The limited series of objects displayed in the Made in Albania Shelf along with their respective inventory dossiers and original price tags, and the many more other objects, remaining in the storage, represent themselves to the public as archived witnesses of our shared past.
The limited collection in display in the Made in Albania Shelf is only a sneak preview of the Unclaimed Stock as Archived Heritage project, coming up soon, as an autonomous exhibition.
Born in 1974 in Tirana, Albania, Edit Pula begin her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tirana under the supervision of Edi Rama and had her first solo exhibition as a 2nd year student in 1994 at the Te & Gi gallery ,the first private art gallery in the post-communist Albania. In 1996 after graduating she won a pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes , six month art residency in Norwich, UK, which concluded with her second solo exhibition “Audition Coloree “ at the Norwich Puppet Theatre and the catalogue of her show. In 1997 she won a bursary and continued her postgraduate studies at the Byam Shaw School of Art & Design in London where she continued to live and work until 2009. Then she returned to her homeland Tirana, Albania setting up her studio. In March 2011 she had her solo exhibition “Soft” at the gallery FAP in Tirana.