Anila Rubiku (1970) is a young Albanian artist who along with some of her colleagues (Orion Shima, Gentian Shkurti, Eltjon Valle, Driant Zeneli) participated in the 2011 Venice Biennale under the guidance of curator Riccardo Caldura. Anila completed her higher education at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and later devoted a great deal to immigration issues. On the occasion of the highly renowned Venetian, Rubiku gave a brief interview to Herald Qyqja for Albania News.
Anila, how was the presentation of your work at the Biennale?
Very well, the feedback was positive from the audience and I am therefore satisfied.
What else can you say about this Biennale?
It is the first time, on the occasion of this biennial, that I have worked not on immigration, but on immigrants living in a country that is not their motherland and specifically on the problems they face to integrate themselves (take the documents, citizenship ) and I wondered what happens to their identity?
In this regard I am often struck by how many Albanians have somehow forgotten their roots, and it is known in many cases, for example it is enough to get on a plane that goes to Albania and to hear parents talking to their children only in Italian . This happened for several reasons: the poverty in which the Albanians found themselves, the bad stories that happened ...
In a project that I followed in Casal Monferrato (4500 inhabitants, with a notable presence of Albanians) I noticed that the vast majority of parents did not speak Albanian, they did not say they were Albanian, they were almost ashamed to say they were Albanians.
Why did you leave Albania?
I came to Milan to study, then I always went to Paris and Vienna to study, and I traveled a lot for art, but I never emigrated.
Did you have the chance to follow the recent elections that took place?
Yes, in part, and I was very struck by the radical change that took place in the image of political propaganda: politicians have really changed radically from an aesthetic point of view. A few years earlier it could be noted that those who entered politics increased their weight so much that they could no longer even recognize it.
While now it seems that we are much more attentive to this factor, but in substance nothing has changed, nothing at all, everyone steals and offers nothing for young people, for the territory, they work only for their children, they think only of fill your pockets, nobody thinks about the future, public schools, etc. And it is not possible that for every election the weapons are taken out both from the right and from the left. I am, we are drugged by weapons. Now I think so, but I hope I can think of it for a while ...
Does this also happen in young generation politicians?
Yes, everyone can get rich with politics, so it doesn't surprise me that it happens with everyone. I'll tell you this: one day I was on the bus on the Durres-Tirana route, thinking with only 1000 of the old lek, yes because I only take public transport in Albania. And I talked about politics with a farmer, who told me "until recently these politicians were people who only had their pants, and now they are all billionaires" .. but how did they do it?
And in the future do you plan to return to Albania with this political climate so difficult?
Yes, by January 2012 I will move to Durres. Then, after all, wherever I go in the world I am considered an Albanian artist, so why not go back to Albania to work on Albania, there are many good and positive things to work on that unfortunately are often covered by bad things .. I am thinking of the cement that was thrown in my city, to the buildings built without any rule, with their discharges at sea, and then at sea who goes there in that sea ...
And how do you feel about returning to your home country?
I would say positively, I enjoy working for my country and giving my contribution to art.
And what happens in the art world in Albania?
And a field where you can work a lot and the Albanian art is giving very positive and not only in the field of visual arts.
To conclude where you will be in the future with your works?
I will be Vienna at the IG BILDENDE KUNST with my personal exhibition and in Belgium at the 7th International Triennial of Contemporary Textile Arts-Tournai.
Presentation of the installation curated by Anila Rubiku
Anila, with the installation “Other countries, other citizenships”, a work presented for the first time at the Venice Biennale, addresses, without any nostalgia, some questions related to the problems that arise when people leave their country and what this means for them the encounter with other cultures and habits.
The installation is made of two parts:
The first part is created by dozens of hangers hanging on the walls above which was a single letter of a sentence "The person who has his own language in order to adopt a different identity and disillusion". The hangers are the explicit reference to the dress, to what we wear to be part of the society in which we live.
Hanging the dress indicates for Anila the very concrete and daily gesture of shedding the identity we wear in the public sphere of our relationship with others.
Those who left their country of origin because, due to many vicissitudes, they are forced to wear another dress, that is, to conform to a new condition, somehow to conform, or often experience a disappointing transformation process to integrate and at the same time starting towards the loss the individual history starting in particular for here first generation immigrants, The second is made by men's hats, head of clothing to wear in public and not, brought both to protect and to show off the head.
Anila wonders with this second part of her installation what is hidden in the public exhibition of the hair? And the answer is very original, because it makes the hat, the masculine hat par excellence, the surface where the thoughts and imaginations of the person wearing it emerge.
Thus the condition of belonging and on the question of citizenship passes from ethical and political to existential and symbolic tears.
For more information www.anilarubiku.com
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