A for Unapologetic

NEXT Balkan presents in Sofia works by 11 Albanian artists

Bora Baboçi, Rites of Spring, 2020, drawing and montage on cardboard

The exhibition A for Unapologetic features eleven artists, representatives of the young and emerging art scene in Albania. Their presentation is part of the NEXT Balkan platform, which reviews trends in the contemporary art on the Balkans. Following the exposition of Serbian contemporary art in 2019, the current event represents the curatorial perspective on the Albanian art scene by Adela Demetja, founder and director of Tirana Art Lab - Centre for Contemporary Art.

Vaska Emanouilova Gallery is a partner of the NEXT Balkan platform and of this exhibition, which has been initiated and organised by DOMA Art Foundation.

What is taking place on the contemporary art scene in the Balkan countries today? Can we find shared opinions and common trends? How do we see the “future” of art and can we talk about a shared narrative following the legacy of the major Balkan exhibitions?

These are some of the questions that the NEXT Balkan platform attempts to ask and elaborate on. The exhibition A for Unapologetic is a comment on these questions. It is conceived by the curator as a continuation of the 1990s legacy of the Albanian scene and the dominating presence of socially and politically engaged art. On display in Vaska Emanouilova Gallery and Doza Gallery are the works of a mixed group of Albanian artists educated in Albania and outside of it, who work with a vast range of mediums and artistic expressions. The exhibition includes paintings, installations, videos, sound and light, as the curator sought to emphasise the freedom of artistic conception.

A for Unapologetic is an exhibition concept and a motto, inspired by the artistic and curatorial approach that tries to escape a sense of identification with what can be seen as limiting. A, as the first letter of the alphabet, symbolises every beginning and in this exhibition the starting point is the concept of not apologising. Unapologetic - as an important aspect that every artist or curator can possess and make use of when pursuing their purpose, in order to be as honest to their inner higher reality as possible. Unapologetic for choosing not to represent or testify for the cultural, political and economic issues or to document the post-communist condition or to elaborate on trauma and collective experience, as has been the case with many exhibitions and projects with artists from South East Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The artists included in the show have developed a more individualised practice enabling them to deal with a subjective perception of existence, inner exploration and universal awareness rather than just identifying and responding to the given reality.

The exhibition runs from 21 April until 13 June.

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