Street by Street, color video with sound, 8 min, 2007
Each time I come back to Tirana I’m struck by the difference between my city and the places I’ve been. The first thing striking you is the strength of the lights flooding all parts of town. If you then take along the bright hues determining streetways, buildings, shops, cars, ads, Tirana then turns in a gypsy woman’s dress. Perhaps all about this town is like this. A trip through the center is enough to realize its citizens, too, are part of the sight, have that look as of fairy-tale characters. Farmers dressed-up with an urban façade create a sort of black humour, their portraits and mimickings produce scenes of Neanderthal-age delirium. Try focusing the camera at any moment and you’ll se house pets sharing the city’s free roads with other animals and street-market workers. All movement in Tirana draws its efficiency from everyone’s reflexes, and only when the muezzin’s singing can churchbells outdo themselves. Only when stray dogs are scratching non-stop can the tourist enjoy a good meal…
Pushing an Elephant Upward, color video no sound, 4 min, 2007
“Pushing an Elephant Upwards” was shot during a night car trip. For the whole film the camera tries to catch the crossing automobiles, in the end focusing nothing but their endlessly dancing flashlights. And what about the elephant? The elephant doesn’t really exist on film. The idea of its pushing – where the title comes from – is associated with all hard and tiresome task, bearing neither beginning nor end. “Pushing an Elephant Upwards” is shot on a single rec. The cars constantly appearing can’t be focused, due to the camera’s auto setting, and hence the monitor displays nothing but whirling flashlights, up and down, left to right, the movement due both to their displacement and to the car trip. The film is to be the mirror of what we can’t know, possess or get hold of. As the car’s headlights are beyond the camera’s reach, so is this video’s purpose. Man can’t possibly get out of the cage he’s stuck in with an elephant to lift, even if the elephant doesn’t really exist.
U Turn, black and white video with sound, 3 min, 2006
“U Turn” is a new version of filmmaker Oliver Stone’s homonymous movie. This remake sports the artist and the film’s sole protagonist sharing the same godddamned dialogue lines, even before Columbus’ arrival. The video was shot in a border town between Greece and Albania, where both the artist and the film’s sole protagonist grew up together. Ten years later, upon a new meeting, “U Turn” was shot, and what could pass as the usual fucking interview is nothing but the character’s touristic camera, at work at enlarging his travelogue. The only difference being that within this mini-dvd lurks a trip bak through time, as happens within Oliver Stone’s original “U Turn”. The return holds each time an epilogue straight out of Borroughs: America has always been a doomed place, even before Columbus’ arrival. “U Turn” operates and recycles analogous stories and places. The video isn’t simply a minimal version of Stone’s film: it tries all along to reach the fulcrum of history, that history continuosly repeating over the same interview or dialogue as in that fucking afternoon, always out there waiting for us.