Next to my Chimney- an installation by Sead Kazanxhiu

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 2, 2018 11:07

Next to my Chimney- an installation by Sead Kazanxhiu

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  • An art installation to celebrate the spiritual rituals of memories or family members that no longer exist in the symbolic gatherplace of storytelling, the chimney. This exhibition is also a call to the union of communities regardless of ethnicity, as family relations and traditions are shared similarly, and thus stereotypes shall be left behind.

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TIRANA, Oct. 30- Zeta Gallery opened Sead Kazanxhiu's exhibition 'Next to my Chimney' on Tuesday, Oct. 30, which will last until Nov. 12. The exhibition was a mixed media installation of pieces from the house Kazanxhiu grew up, which no longer exists as it was demolished in 2015 to make room for building a new one.  

This exhibition comes as in an invitation for the viewers to experience the ancestral spirits of the house through some lessons of difference, more particularly linked with the philosophies of life and death ushered by the Romani community. 'Next to my Chimney' because these philosophies, stories and knowledge are accumulated through the generations and retold to successors in a warm gathering around the fireplace.

Kazanxhiu wants to bring the feeling of his own house and family by presenting building around the guest-room (oda e miqve). The guest-room is linked to a long tradition of Albanian families in general, where the guest room is the embodiment of the Albanian hospitality, the warmest, noisiest room in the house with distinguished ornaments and rich decoration. He builds the installation around this particular item, the white chimney, with saved pieces from the original house.

Carefully selected and recomposed items on display elevate viewers into an immaterial, spiritual state of mind, imbued with the loving energy of Kazanxhiu's deceased grandparents. He addresses their presence-in-absence through fragments of the material world from where he was born and raised.

The fireplace of the guest room in Kazanxhiu's house aka the exhibition atmosphere, challenges the people to rethink the ideas of living together, the concept of hospitality, and the forms and effects of human displacement. He puts this installation as a public platform for thought made out of private items, which seeks to bring and redeem the still-existing racial differences amongst the communities and the stereotypes that prevail against the Romani people. This is a dark side of the emerging European democracy.

''Let your body's silhouette ritually 'break' the wall of Sead Kazanxhiu's guest room and reconnect without divide with the common spirit of our ancestors. Or simply greet his house while positioning yourself in front of its door, instead of taking forced evictions for granted and remaining visually impaired about the ever-growing racial policies of power, being, of knowing,'' said curator of the exhibition Marko Stamenkovic.

Sead Kazanxhiu is a Roma ethnic visual artist from Albania. After finishing his bachelor's in painting, he worked primarily in his medium for a few years, and then started to explore and inhibit sculpture, installation, video and public space interventions. He has launched eight personal exhibitions since 2012 and has participated in group ones too. One such group expose was the ''Reconceptualizing Roma Resistance'' in summer 2016 at the Goethe Institute in Prague in the framework of Roma Festival Khamoro.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 2, 2018 11:07