Philosophers, mixed media, 150X100cm, 150X100cm, 2008
finalist ARDHJE Award , 2010
ON FANI ZGURO’S SERIES OF DRAWINGS AND COLLAGES
Fani Zguro is one of the young aspiring artists from Albania. Part of a generation that experienced the former regime mainly through testimonies, such as literature or history or philosophy books that one could find in ones parents’ library at home, or various utensils or furniture one grew up with, Zguro is developing what seems to be an ongoing research to find means and ways to come to terms not only with his quest for finding a historical belonging but also a relation to past and present, Albanian society and international art scene and the unresolved contradiction of our time between the local and the global. This quest and research has prompted the artist to try various means of expression, varying from video to installation and most recently drawing and collage.
After trying and producing a number of video works revolving around the city and its many layers and histories, Zguro takes a new turn and starts to investigate his persona through a series of drawings and collages. First he revisits the drawings he made as a child. But this is to serve only as an initial step after which, he decides to focus on a mixture between drawing and collage. For this Zguro chooses to operate directly on pages of books that according to him ”shaped his world and incited his fantasy” during his childhood. In the working process he tries to re-live what he experienced as a child. This is done by using the actual pages of the books and by directly drawing onto them, somewhere intervening in the text, but quite often intervening on the images too, since images were what really attracted his attention at an early age when he’d not be able to understand the content. On the other hand, through such interventions the artist tries to raise a number of issues that are part of the larger discourse about history and belonging.
Thus Zguro decides in favor of at times using total blacking out of text parts, or at other times of making use of more abstract geometric forms and lines, as if trying to push further the abstraction he experienced as a child, but also to highlight the abstract qualities of language by eliminating its most essential part – the letters. However, images too are not left out or untouched. The same type of intervention is carried out with persistence also on them. Through this latest intervention on images, Zguro tries to reflect on how saturated our world is with images and how history making remains a manipulative process, that in a process similar to that of a children’s fascination with images, in our modern days is almost entirely performed through editing of moving and still images.
Making use of collage as a simple means at its purest and simplest form, and combining it with drawing, Zguro tries to recreate a world of images, signs, and text which is supposed to lead the viewer into the labyrinth of hidden or non-existing meanings, inter-formal plays, abruptedness and flow - an interplay of new signs and symbols that serve him to propose his intertext.
02. 08. 2010 22:02:04
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