In the digital room an exhibition curated by Zef Paci will be the first exhibition of a series called “Photography rewrites history”, where guest curators from dierent
fields will explore this subject.
ABOUT POLITICAL AND DAILY LIFE (1945 – 1991)
ATA (Albanian Telegraphic Agency) Archive is one of the memory places where documents of our society are preserved. Previous decades photos of this archive are without names. Later, before the ’70s, the names of photographers appear in albums. The documentary photographer of that time was charged to communicate a message to an audience beyond personal choices and artistic workmanship (however this was not missing).
The exhibition, divided in two image projections from ATA photographic fund, deals with the power – people relation. It requires to stimulate discussions on different points of view on our history, and on history in general, on historic schools and on its scholars. Schools are divided mainly in two categories; one of them considers history as a product of major political decisions and events, marking significant turning points in the humankind history, and the other perceives history through the daily life and explication of experiences, actions and customs of ordinary people. Photographic images of the archive of those decades rely practically on the first category, in the name of the second. View from a superior point, power satisfaction, and narcissism are characteristic to some of the political images. The approach of the other category is more close, its satisfaction derives not from the feeling of controlling history, but from a feeling of belonging and relating with it.
One projection shows a selection of photographic images from the political life of Albania, whereas the other presents a selection of images from an official archive of the “daily” life. Through these two screens (that do not see each-other) the ease, solemnity and symbolism of political life gestures is contrasted with the efforts of work gestures in daily life. But on the other hand, we find also similarities in the political mega-manifestations linings and the routine moments of daily life (morning exercises, etc.).
We see the stories that the photo has to show in its recessive moments, in the movement that we can notice within or in the moments seemingly frozen. Every picture is an important moment which is related with other moments. Any photographic moment is a selection made in relation with the previous and the next one, something which revives the expectation on how the history shall be perceived. This complied with the exposing conditions through projection. Thus, an image would be followed by another avoiding somewhat the static freezing of the picture. Selected photos form two image flows, which undertake to be neither all inclusive, or exactly historical. Selected photos are based on dim traces, discrepancies, voids, slip and misunderstanding of photographic images found out in this archive. Thus, the history of power execution is juxtaposed to the visions and experiences of those that were its subjects.
Projection of political life images tends towards a more linear evolving, marked by political events of the country, whereas the projection of daily life tends towards a cyclic evolving, passing through the phases of human life. Some of the the images used leads to a direction and feeling different from the titles it bears.
Within its boundaries, photography is characterised by an unmatched dramatic value: the feeling that the frozen moment has been and was exactly and actually the same.
The request was not to invent a story that seemed true, but present some truths as they were a story- observed, ordered and told subjectively.
July 2015, Zef Paci
Zef Paci is professor of Art and Painting History at the Visual Arts Faculty, University of Fine Arts, Tirana.
Besides the didactic activity, he has participated in various exhibitions as author of figurative artworks, he has designed some theatre scenographies, frescos and vitrages.
He has also conducted activities as a curator for various solo and group exhibitions.
He is the author of various articles and essay on the Albanian visual art and photography.
This exhibition will take place from July 9 -September 30, 2015