MANIFESTO Hijacking / The House That Woodrow Built


/The House That Woodrow Built

An exhibition by La Société Spectrale

ZETA Contemporary Art Center

4 July – 11 September 2022

Opening: 4 July 2022, 19:00

The House That Woodrow Built conjures the specters that continue to haunt Albania as an “independent,” post-communist nation, presenting a series of remainders that have not yet been properly mourned, still trying to find their proper place in the shared Albanian consciousness. This exhibition by the collective La Société Spectrale reviews a nation torn between stalling and disingenuous integration into the neoliberal infrastructures of the EU; diplomatic intervention by the US that at once destabilizes the country and has turned Albania into a reservoir of the unprocessable remainders of neo-colonialist warfare; and the nostalgic imagination of a quasi-autocracy that has mobilized contemporary art as a tool for both money laundering and propaganda. Among these unarchivable objects, readymades that were never ready, unmoored from time yet forced into spatial coexistence inside the gallery, we encounter the wooden roof beams of a juridically contested site of purported war crimes, objects salvaged from the debris of a site of cultural resistance, and the colonial furniture of an imperialist embassy elevated in space. Together these objects – if not mere part-objects – emerge as tentative anchor points for a counter-narrative to Albanian power, a ghostly power that refuses to let the past die, insisting on its co-presence with the future.

La Société Spectrale

(Armando Lulaj, Jonida Gashi, Pleurad Xhafa)

Curated by Vincent WJ van Gerven Oei

SKEDAR / FILES of La Société Spectrale

Researched and Curated by Jora Kasapi