Betreff: ZETA Contemporary Art Center presents Manifesto DESERTION
Datum:  Mon, 03 Jul 2023 06:01:21 +0000
Von:    e-flux Agenda <>

a project by DebatikCenter of Contemporary Art
July 4–September 11, 2023

ZETA Contemporary Art Center
Abdyl Frashëri Street, Nd.8, H.7, Ap.4 (2nd floor)
Hekla Center
1019 Tirana

Manifesto DESERTION urgently attests to the interconnection of art and politics, as evident in states and climates of emergency.

ZETA Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present *Manifesto DESERTION*, a project by DebatikCenter of Contemporary Art (DCCA). The project follows Manifesto HIJACKING from 2022, which explored art’s ability to archive traces of anti-colonial resistance discourses in Southeastern Europe. Manifesto DESERTION looks at the flipside of resistance: the abandonment of power as well as, potentially, contemporary art. It brings together artists, filmmakers, curators, academics, historians, architects, activists, and publishers to collaboratively examine attitudes and acts of desertion.

Manifesto DESERTION begins on July 4, with *Find Your Tongue*, a happening about a whistleblower who exposed collusion between politicians and organized crime.

It continues with *Radio Desertion*, a 60 minute 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 expand from the center of Tirana towards the margins and vice versa, proposing tools for the construction of a “Desertion Archive”.

/EDEN 1: *The Deserter*/, restored by Sonja Lau: A specially commissioned reproduction of Ilya Repin’s famous painting /The Deserter /(1917) by the artist Zef Shoshi (b. 1939), sets the ground for a chain of reflections on absences and presences, originals and copies, anachronisms and speculative histories, as a means of considering the desertion of art history as a symptomatic condition of the region.

/EDEN 2: *Moving Billboard*/, agitated by La Société Spectrale (Armando Lulaj, Jonida Gashi, Pleurad Xhafa): The sudden appearance of 24 billboards in unexpected locations across Tirana for one-hour intervals over the course of a single day, forms the basis for exploring the possibility of deserting established models of exhibition making. La Société Spectrale has invited 12 artists to contribute two works each, one of their own and another by a deceased artist, whose practice has been important to them and whose work still speaks to the present moment or the imminent future.

/EDEN 3: *Lighting a Fire on the Bottom of the Ocean*/, conjured by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei & Çiçek İlengiz: Against the background of the ineffectiveness of political action and within the deserted Albanian landscape of ideas, this project seeks to activate the nature of the as yet unrealized forest surrounding the city of Tirana by different, magical means.

Manifesto DESERTION continues with *Surveillance*, a project that investigates the spread of Albanian data leaks and the abandonment of state structures, and concludes with *Enaction*, a historical re-enactment that includes the use of original audio recordings from the Albanian 1997 uprising.

Manifesto DESERTION also announces the publication of the third volume in the series *“Biblioteka Art & Politikë”*, an edited collection by Raino Isto, on the legacies of socialist realism as a global method.


*/Find Your Tongue/:* July 4, 7–9pm, happening. The collusion between politics and crime. ZETA Contemporary Art Center, Abdyl Frashëri Str. Nd.8, H.7, Ap. 4 (2nd floor), Hekla Center, Tirana, Albania

*/The Deserter/:* July 13, 7–8pm, guided tour. Ilya Repin's painting /The Deserter/ (1917), repainted by Zef Shoshi (2023).
Location to be announced.

*/Moving Billboard 2/:* July 31, 1–12am, apparitions. 24 billboards all over Tirana in the course of a single day.
Periphery of the City of Tirana, Albania

*/Lighting a Fire/:* August 26, 8am–11pm, ritual. The inauguration of the first political exorcism in Albania.
Orbital Forest of the City of Tirana, Albania

*/Surveillance/:* September 6, 7–9pm, hacktivinstallation. The spread of data leaks and the abandonment of state structures. ZETA Contemporary Art Center, Abdyl Frashëri Str. Nd.8, H.7, Ap.4 (2nd floor), Hekla Center, Tirana, Albania

*/Enaction/:* September 11, 7–11pm, re-enactment. Historic original audio recordings from the 1997 Albanian uprising. ZETA Contemporary Art Center, Abdyl Frashëri Str. Nd.8, H.7, Ap.4 (2nd floor), Hekla Center, Tirana, Albania

*/Tracking Shot/:* November 29, 1am–12pm, act. One-act movement in front of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA.
5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA

*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.

*Contributions by:* Tatiana Bazzichelli, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Simon Critchley, Arben Dedja, Liu Ding & Carol Yinghua Lu, Yi Gu, Srećko Horvat, Vladan Jeremic & Rena Rädle, Jin Jun, Elpida Karaba & Despina Zefkili, Thomas Logoreci, Michael Marder, Luca Martignani, Théodore Mclauchlin, Viktor Misiano, Stuart Munro, Hadas Pe’ery, Nina Power, Theo Prodromidis, Marco Scotini, Ares Shporta, Jonas Staal, Mark A. Weitz.

*Works by:* Issam Badr, Zef Bumçi, Giovanni De Donà & Gianluca Ghini, The Question of Funding, Deniz Gezmiş, Barbad Golshiri, Martin Johnson Heade, Alban Hajdinaj, Theodore John Kaczynski, David Kampi, Osamu Kanemura, Edward Kienholz, Tong Lam, Chris Marker, Marco Mazzi, Pınar Öğrenci, Kioumars Pourahmad, Walid Raad, Sara Rahbar, Ketty La Rocca, Christoph Schlingensief, Alessandro Scotti, Zef Shoshi & Ilya Repin, La Société Spectrale, Dziga Vertov, Ian Wilson, Pleurad Xhafa.

Display for “Desertion Archives” designed by Armando Lulaj.

Manifesto DESERTION was supported by: Foundation for Art Initiatives, Goethe-Zentrum Tirana. Co-funded by EU.
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