The Encounter. Reclaiming the potentiality of affection

Adrian Paci
Edi Muka (curator at the The Public Art Agency Sweden), Tea Çuni (curator of the Museum of Memory, Shkoder)
10 Oct / 21 Oct, 2016
Cittadellarte, Biella / Art House, Shkodër, Albania
TOPICS/TAGS: Research, art, dialogue, memory, storytelling, care, imaginary, engaged art, experience, participation, responsibility, environment, gift.

The Twenty-First Century led us to disaffection. The avantgarde tried to burn bridges with past and looked for new codes and unexplored territories. The artist's gesture was not meant to build along side traditions but in opposition to them, with the ambition of achieving new discoveries able to surprise continuously. Biennials, analogous to art fairs, work as a stage where all this openness is assigned to the logic of the show system and art market, that do not seem disturbed by this, often desecrating, diversity but to the contrary continuously stimulated. In fact, the transgressive disaffection avant-garde relates perfectly today to the logic of dynamics of consumerism based on profit.

How to rethink the artist's gesture today?
To deny art is not innovative and an academic return is not an option.
Perhaps we need to rethink the relationship between art and the world without abolishing the differences but by assisting a fruitful exchange.
Looking at the world with curiosity, affection and surprise could help in elaborating new answers for a world ever unfolding.

Maybe it's worth leaving the excitement of conquest, the superficial, to refocus on an in-depth exploration and the reason for its cultivation.
The residential module is based on this: to reclaim the artist's role as a narrator of a place, a story or an experience recognizing the potential of it and exploring it with affection and astonishment; to renew the artist's gesture in relation to a new exchange with the field of investigation and cultivation. Rethinking the encounter with the other as a moment of stimulation also means to recover the question about identity of art without presuming to find an answer.

The module will take place in two specific places, both houses and cultural spaces: Cittadellarte in Biella (IT), founded by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 1998, and Art House in Shkodër (AL), started by Adrian Paci in 2015. Two different realities (an institution and a private house), but with a common desire to restart a profound dialogue with the experience of life and thought. During the first week in Biella, Cittadellarte will be the scenario of investigation, discussions, walks and readings hosting the international curator, currently based in Sweden, Edi Muka as guest of the residency.

In Shkodër, the participants together with the mentor will initiate a dialogue with the city and the environment by focusing on local realities and stories through a process of exchanges with local guests who will narrate the place to them. In both contexts, Biella and Shkodër, the module will be based on conviviality and exchange, avoiding a hierarchy of knowledge and rigid academia.


10th / 14th October, 2016

October 10th
Guided tour to Cittadellarte (curated by Elena Rosina), including the Pistoletto, Arte Povera collections and temporary exhibitions.
Introduction to the Theorem of Trinamics, the symbol of the Third Paradise and the concept of Demopraxy.
The encounter: introduction to the module's themes by the mentor.
Group and mentor's research presentations.

October 11th
Collective reading session.
Discussion and participants’ feed-backs through presentations.
Introduction to different other art practices and curatorial researches.
First day of vision and discussion of the participants' work and research.
Video screening.

October 12th
A day with the curator Edi Muka.
A focus group meeting moderated by Adrian Paci about “The encounter” with Cittadellarte (its spaces, people, activities, residents and exhibitions).

October 13th 
Collective reading session.
Discussion and participants’ feed-backs.
Group walk in the town of Biella.
Second day of participants’ presentations and discussion.
Video screening.

October 14th
Collective reading session.
Discussion and participants’ feed-backs.
Video screening.

15th / 16th October, 2016

October 15th
Departure from Cittadellarte and trip to Shkodër by plane or car.

October 16 th
Welcome at Art House.

17th / 21st October, 2016

October 17th
Presentation of the project Art House (space, programme and activities) by the mentor. Presentation of the module's activities for the week.
Visit to the castel of Shkoder and the lake.

October 18th
Visit to the Museum of Memory and meeting with the curator Tea Çuni.
Stroll through the cafés of Shkodër.
Video screening.

October 19th
Discussion about ideas and proposals of work by the participants.
Collective discussion.
Meetings with the Albanian artists Lek Gjeloshi, Rubin Mandia, Sidi Kanani.
Collective discussion.

October 20th
Individual time for research.
Collective discussion about projects and proposals.

October 21st
Public presentation of ideas, proposals and projects by the participants.
Collective discussion.
Dinner and party @ Art House.


• G. Agamben, Il Fuoco e il Racconto, Nottetempo, Roma, 2004
• W. Benjamin, "The storyteller", in Illuminations: Essays and Reflections, Ed. Hannah Arendt, New York, 1968
• M. Foucault, Le beau danger. Un entretien de Michel Foucault avec Claude Bonnefoy, Éditions de l'EHESS, Paris, 2011
• R. Sennett, The craftman, Yale University Press, NewHaven CT, 2008
• A. Tarkovskij, Sculpting in time: Reflections on the Cinema, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1987



Adrian Paci was born in 1969 in Shkodër, Albania. He studied painting at the Academy of Art of Tirana. In 1997 he moved to Milan where he lives and works. Throughout his career he held numerous solo shows in various international institutions. Amongst the last group shows Paci’s work has been featured in the International Architecture Exhibition at "La Biennale di Venezia" (2014); the "International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia" (1999 and 2005); in the "15th Biennale of Sydney" (2006). His works are shown in numerous public and private collections.
A consistent part of his artistic research is dedicated to his homeland. In his work, Paci explores the boundaries between the personal and the political as well as the identities and rituals that are forged along those borders.
Adrian Paci teaches painting at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti NABA, Milan. He has been a teaching art classes at Accademia Carrara di Belle Ari Bergamo, 2002-2006, IUAV, Venice 2003-2015 and has been giving lectures and workshops in many universities, art academies and institutions in different countries.
In 2015 Paci founded Art House, bringing to his home town, Shkodër, the contribution of international personalities of the arts and culture.


Since March 2014, Edi Muka holds the position of curator of temporary projects at the Public Art Agency, Sweden. Previously, from 2009 - 2014 he was the curator of Roda Sten konsthall in Göteborg, and together with Stina Edblom, shared the position of artistic director of “Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2013”. He is one of the founders and directors of the “Tirana International Contemporary Art Biennial”, as well as director and curator of TICA-Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art, an independent platform for research and production of contemporary art. In 2015 he co-curated “Local Stories – Global Practices”, 3rd edition of “The International Art Encounters of Medellin”, Colombia. In 2007, he curated the fourth edition of the “Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art”, titled “Rethinking Dissent”, together with Joa Ljungberg. In 1999, Muka curated the group show “Albania Today – The Time of Ironic Optimism”, the first Albanian Pavilion at the “Venice Biennial”, and in 2005 he was the commissioner for the Pavilion. His curatorial work is of international scope and based on close collaboration with artists.

Tea Çuni is specialized in cultural communication. She graduated in Language and Cultures for Tourism at the University of Turin, Italy. Returning to Albania in 2012, she worked as communications manager for the "Youth Adrinet" project and as external English teacher for tourism at the University of Shkodër. Since 2014, she has been the curator at “Museum of Memory”, the first museum treating the period of communist dictatorship in Albania. In 2015, she completed a two-month formation on communication of dictatorship to new generations at Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung in Berlin. Since 2015, she has been the coordinator at Art House, an art space and project initiated by Adrian and Melisa Paci. She lives and works in Shkodër.

The residency fee includes accomodation and full board.
Travel expenses related to the trip to Shkodër to be covered by the participants.

Participation fee
850.00 €