Albanian Trilogy represents for Lulaj the conclusion of many years of research into the Cold War period in Albania, specifically on the themes of collective memory and historical experience. The first work in this series is the film It Wears as It Grows (2011). The second work in the trilogy is the well-known project NEVER (2012), which has been widely exhibited internationally. The third work, Recapitulation (2015), will be produced especially for the Bienniale. Lulaj’s and Scotini’s project was selected through an open call for proposals by an international jury chaired by Boris Groys and including Kathrin Rhomberg, Adrian Paci, Albert Heta, and a representative of the Ministry of Culture. The jury, whose decision was unanimous, motivated their selection as follows:
“With Albanian Trilogy: A Series of Devious Stratagems, Armando Lulaj pursues the investigation of available readings of Albanian history from the Cold War to the present day by reintroducing once highly representative and politically charged images and narratives still ingrained in the people’s visual memory, in a way that goes far beyond a subjective questioning of one nation’s history to forcefully account for a general analysis of the ruins and failures of modernity. Lulaj’s ability to create connections and contexts that are not obvious but at the same time persuasive, the visual appeal of the works themselves as well as the installation, which manages to be both playful and monumental at the same time—a rare achievement, ensure that Albanian Trilogy: A Series of Devious Stratagems will be able to engage a wider public, apart from those who are interested in and informed about Albanian history.”
Photo credit: Armando Lulaj, It Wears as it Grows, 2011, Film, RED transfered to full HD, duration 18min, b/w, color, sound 5.1. Courtesy of DebatikCenter Film, Artra Gallery, cinqueesei.