LIGHTING A FIRE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN is the third chapter of the exhibition Eden, Eden, Eden, part of Manifesto Desertion.

Conjured by Vincent W.J van Gerven Oei and Çiçek İlengiz

Exhibition opening: August 31, 2023, at 7PM.

LIGHTING A FIRE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN took the form of a 60-km walk around the semirural perimeter of Tirana, along which an Italian architect in 2017 proposed an “Orbital Forest,” a “belt of 2 million trees around the city, that has the possibility of blocking the consumption of land.” Yet land consumption has skyrocketed in recent years to satisfy the corrupt construction mania of the government and oligarchs. Lamenting this loss of green spaces, the Prime Minister has responded with his own private 3.6 million euro “Garden of Eden,” to be constructed in the courtyard of his office as “a reminder of the nature for a long time lost in our built environments.” As political action has turned out to be ineffective in the deserted Albanian landscape of ideas, Lighting a Fire on the Bottom of the Ocean mobilized the Orbital Forest for another purpose, to imagine life in Tirana without constraints. In a continuous, collective powerful political exorcism, the MANIFESTO collective walked counter clockwise along a looping path: the inauguration of an annual mission to nowhere through a non-existing forest.

Manifesto DESERTION was supported by: Foundation for Art Initiatives, Goethe-Zentrum Tirana. Co-funded by the European Union, Kooperativa (Regionalna platforma za kulturu), NKSS (Nezavisna Kulturna Scena Srbije, European Fund For the Balkans.