SOUVENIR OF MY HOMELAND
EXHIBITIONS / PROJECTS
TEXTS AND REVIEWS
INSTALLATION VIEW: Palipsest 04, Palipsest 05, 182 cm.
Image credit: Rosta Jozsef
Palimpsest 04 and Palimpsest 05 revisit the basic visual aspects of Albanian traditions, intertwining them with individual memory. Both works use artistic processes characteristic of Endri Dani’s approach: separation an recreation. During the reconstruction of his native house in Shkoder, Dani discovered several layers of paint, representing different periods of the building piled under each other thought time. The terms used by his grandparents to refer to the separate colors carry strong emotional memories on the on hand, and aspects of cultural heritage on the other. Palimpsest 04’s nuances of language shed light on the sociopolitical issues that strongly influenced Dani to go further in his research, awakening the memories of unconscious visual education he received in the past.
It was the collective visual memory that guided Dani in his work Palimpsest 05, focusing him on the dyer rug (kilim), a symbol of tradition and heritage in Albania. Under the hands of the artist, the kilim went through a chemical procces: the threads lost their color, while the multilayered liquid has kept the memory of the once vivid carpet. Palimpsest 05 reflects on Dani’s curiosity to understand why “ethnographic homogeneity became idealized in the minds of post-industrial individuals for a more emphatic and rich cultural heritage.
The series “182 cm” positions Dani in the center of each pictures. After years of research, he took images in numerous towns in Albania (Shkoder, Burrel, Fier, Korce, Elbasan, Pogradec, Lezhe and Tirana), portraying himself under apartment blocks built during the communist dictatorship. Dani compares his height to the inevitable heritage these houses represent, revealing that the architecture elements are exactly as tall as he is: 182 cm. His self-portraits create a surreal but tangible horizon of coincidence, generating a new understanding of harmony of proportions between people and their built surroundings.
Julia Fabényi, Budapest 2016