REMIJON PRONJA | UNTITLED IN ALLEGRO MODERATO
An installation based on two video-works exploring the use of cultural symbols during the European transculturation process and the ongoing refugee crisis
UNTITLED IN ALLEGRO MODERATO is an exhibition by the Tirana-based visual artist Remijon Pronja that introduces, for the first time, his most recent works to the Albanian audience. The exhibition explores the limits of communication, cultural appropriation and transculturation while bringing together Pronja’s two video-pieces, “Untitled in Allegro Moderato” (2015) and “An Die Freude (Nushid AlFarah - نشيد الفرح)” (2016), into an installation specifically conceived for the space of Zeta Gallery in Tirana. Both works revolve around one common point of departure: Friedrich Schiller’s late eighteenth century poem “Ode to Joy”, which became part of the Western musical heritage thanks to Ludwig van Beethoven’s appropriation into his composition “The Ninth Symphony” (1824).
Starting from this cultural monument that, later on, became an anthem of European Union, UNTITLED IN ALLEGRO MODERATO challenges the composition’s overloaded symbolic value and its up-to-date connotations from a perspective that puts into question the very notion of pan-European identity and its power when confronted with the non-European ‘Other’. In the context of ongoing processes of European territorial and administrative integration (alongside the re-integration and dis-integration of cultural norms and values associated with them), the exhibition attempts at contributing to the actual discourses around the refugee crisis from a critically informed and artistically nuanced position. The central exhibition display aims to shed light on the power of language, both verbal and non-verbal, to communicate the discrepancies and misbalances proper to such discourses in comparison to the realities lived by the contemporary humankind involved in complicated processes of transition and transformation.
As a way of bringing them closer to the exhibition viewers, Pronja brings into play language, sound, and image through a supposedly incongruous constellation, which tests their sense of suspicion and incredulity by means of a discordant mixture among elements that seem to be very familiar and, at the same time, completely non-familiar to those who listen to and look at them. Pronja intentionally creates this atmosphere of estranged situation that throws the audience out of their comfort zone by presenting them a scenario that pursues no expectable logic. Instead, this lack of harmony disrupts and disturbs our preconceived register of knowledge in order to open up our horizons onto some unexplored or unimaginable possibilities – how to think the Self and the Other as part of our common (human) condition at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Remijon Pronja is a visual artist born in 1984 in Tirana, Albania, where he currently lives and works. After his initial formation at the Artistic Lyceum "Jordan Misja" in Tirana (1999-2003), he moved to Italy. He studied painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan (2003-2011) and received his master degree in interdisciplinary research of contemporary visual art practices, before his ultimate return to Albania in 2011. He was a co-founder of MIZA Galeri (since 2012 ).
Since his first public presentation in 2005 at the Gallery Domus in Locarno, Switzerland, Pronja has taken part in numerous international group exhibitions in his home country (Shkodra and Tirana) across Europe (Pavia, Milano, Bari, Stockholm, Sarajevo, Berlin, and Budapest) as well as in Canada (Toronto).
Rex anonymous, his only personal show so far, organized in 2014 at the Ku/RZ/nsthalle in Bregenz, Austria.