Zef Shoshi, The Desertor ( after Ilya Repin), 2023 / Photo la Société Spectrale / Courtesy of the artist, Sonja Lau, Desertion Archives and DCCA
Jul 4 – Sep 11, 2023
Zeta / DebatikCenter
Tirana, Albania

ZETA Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present Manifesto DESERTION, a project by DebatikCenter of Contemporary Art (DCCA). Manifesto DESERTION follows Manifesto HIJACKING from 2022, which explored art’s ability to archive traces of anti-colonial resistance discourses in Southeastern Europe.

Manifesto DESERTION begins with FIND YOUR TONGUE by Pleurad Xhafa: A happening on a whistleblower who exposed the collusion between the Albanian government and organized crime.

It continues with RADIO DESERTION, a sound installation consisting of voice recordings by poets, artists, philosophers and curators reflecting on two interrelated questions: How can strategies of desertion be used today to disrupt contemporary forms of cultural and political hegemony? And what does it mean to desert history itself?

RADIO DESERTION is followed by EDEN EDEN EDEN, an exhibition developed in three chapters, which from the center of Tirana expand towards the margins and vice versa, thus proposing tools for the construction of a Desertion Archive, ranging from Russian realism to Albanian socialist realism, from conceptualism to today’s activism, up to spiritualism and magic as elements of political exorcism.

Traces from all the projects will be visible at ZETA Contemporary Art Center within a specific display designed by Armando Lulaj.

Manifesto DESERTION was conceived by: Boris Budini, Jonida Gashi, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Raino Isto, Jora Kasapi, Ataol Kaso, Valentina Koça, Sonja Lau, Armando Lulaj, Ylber Marku, Marco Mazzi, Redon Skikuli and Pleurad Xhafa.

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