Starting from September 2021 duo HUNITI GOLDOX, Olson Lamaj and Valentina Peri, will spend two months in residency at Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art where they will develop new works reflecting on Virtual Reality contributing artistically to the discourse generated by the project BEYOND MATTER. The selected artists were chosen from the joint second call for artists in residency launched by Tirana Art Lab Center for Contemporary Art, Tallinn Art Hall, and the Hertz-Lab of the ZKM I Center for Art and Media. The residency program is part of the large-scale cooperation project BEYOND MATTER. Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality, co-founded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union, dedicated to novel, digital approaches to exhibition revival, documentation, and dissemination, and the artistic, curatorial, and museological elaboration of the chances given by virtual representation.
HUNITI GOLDOX is an artist duo consisting of Areej Huniti and Eliza Goldox. They have been active for over 2,5 years now and reside between Germany and Jordan. In their practice they are interested in geopolitical realities, marginalised oral histories and contextual research. They like to utilise new media tools, video art, conversations and writing. When working, they try to think of formats that can involve different voices and beings, be this human and nonhuman, such as workshops, excursions and interventions. This stems from the desire to create moments for collective imagining and re-imagining, to collapse dominant narratives and fixed geographies. Their work got exhibited at Darat Al Funun, The MMAG Foundation & The Jordan National Gallery and Goethe Institute in Amman, SomoS Art House in Berlin, School Of Waters/ Biennale Mediterranea in San Marino, Sheffield Doc Fest and will be shown in Transmediale Berlin, Dream City in Tunis and D21 in Leipzig.
During their residency at Tirana Art Lab, the duo intends to continue engaging with mutant narratives by researching the aqua ecosystem of Tirana and its surroundings, as well as experimenting with embodiment and immersive virtual environments. Through their project they are interested in understanding the geopolitical realities of diverse bodies of water including their metal, plastic and organic contaminants as archives offering temporal gaps for documenting the present in alternative ways.
Olson Lamaj, is a multimedia artist from Albania. He graduated as a painter from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, and received his M.A degree in artistic photography from the Academy of Fine Arts Brera in Milan. After he finished his studies, he moved back in Albania, where he currently works. His work investigates social and political issues related both to contemporary life in Albania and more universal and timeless systems of meaning, extending beyond immediate conditions. Lamaj’s projects emphasize the semiotic oversaturation – and the mysterious, almost mystical qualities – of objects and images related to political ideologies of various kinds. His artworks function as a collective mythography of the present, laying the groundwork for the projection and creation of new myths.
Solo exhibitions include: The cat above and the mouse below, Bazamant Art Space Tirana; Holy muscle, Hoast Project Vienna; (Over)Identification, Tulla Culture Center Tirana. Group exhibition include: A for unapologetic,Vaska Gallery Sofia; Nuit Blanche in Prizren; The in Between State of Mind in Budapest, Altered State at Kunshalle Exnergasse Vienna; Du Order ICh? Collective Soul in Melk; Post – Young Albanian Artists at Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali; The Whale That Was a Submarine, Ludwig Museum Budapest; Dark Chapters, <rotor> in Graz; Nationless, Center of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki. He was Awarded ARDHJA award in 2013. He has been part of different art residency included: ISCP – New York, KulturKontakt Austria and Studio das weisse haus in Vienna.
During the residency at Tirana Art Lab he will research and investigate current debates around public space and art in public space in Tirana. He intends to create a public monument using Augmented Reality, contributing critically to ongoing public disputes.
Valentina Peri is an independent curator, cultural critic and author based in Paris. Her work examines the role of technology in contemporary culture, with a focus on love and intimacy in the digital age, media histories and technologies in the Anthropocene.
She has curated exhibitions, published writing and given lectures on a broad range of topics in these areas, including data collection and surveillance, the commodification of desire, representation and identity, media ecologies and new materialism. Her travelling exhibition Data Dating has been presented in Paris, Tel Aviv and London between 2018 et 2020. In the context of this group show, she co-edited an essay collection published by Intellect: Data Dating. Love, Technology, Desire (2021). She is currently working on a new group show about love and intimacy in the post-pandemic world. From 2011-21, Valentina was associate director and curator at Galerie Charlot Paris – Tel Aviv, where she curated numerous exhibitions with internationally renowned artists, such as Quayola, Eduardo Kac, Sabrina Ratté, Manfred Mohr, !Mediengruppe Bitnik and Addie Wagenknecht. In 2021 she joined as a Guest Curator peer-to-space, an independent exhibition platform based in Berlin, that realizes virtual and IRL exhibitions.
During the residency at Tirana Art Lab, she will work on the project “Her Boyfriend Came Back from the War”, starting from her italian grandparents’ World War II memorabilia, personal objects from her family and archival material in Tirana. The question she wants to explore is how “rhizomatic narratives” in immersive VR storytelling can be connected with the re-enactment of individual and collective memory.