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PIPIFAX FOR TIRANA #5 by Rudolf Steiner

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Taken by
Rudolf Steiner Rudolf Steiner
Explore score
0.44 Gigapixels
Date added
Jun 11, 2011
Date taken
Jun 11, 2011

The exhibition “PIPIFAX for Tirana / Through the looking glass and what we found there” is organized by Tirana Art Lab – Centre for Contemporary Art in the framework of the Project “Artists in Residency” supported by ProHelvetia with the participation of Haus am Gern, represented by the Swiss artists Rudolf Steiner and Barbara Meyer Cesta.

PIPIFAX means nonsense and is of Jewish origin. Jewish refer to the word JHWH (Jahweh, Jehovah) to name God. This word is also used for the translation of the bible into Greek. However, it was determined that the Jewish spelling of the so-called Tetragrammaton should be kept identical as used in the Jewish language where the word is written from right to left. While, in Greek the word is written from left to right (Greeks read JHWH as HWHJ). These Jewish characters are similar to Greek and are pronounced PIPI. When reading the Bible facsimile the Greek asked which the meaning of PIPI in the fax was. This term was not understandable for the readers and as a result the readers of the transcript used the term PIPI-FAX.

Haus am Gern take this term and transform it into an important reference point for their artistic project. PIPIFAX symbolises nonsense and on the same time, it can change its original meaning when trying to inverse or translate it. The concept of inverse plays a crucial role in conceiving the works of the exhibition.

The second part of the exhibition title “Through the looking glass and what we found there” refers to the book written by Lewis Caroll in 1871. The book follows up Alice´s Adventure in Wonderland. In Through the Looking Glass, the settings and the concept of the book is that everything is a mirrored image of the real world. The story takes place into a parallel mirrored world where everything is in opposite and where the time runes backward.

If you see the images photographed by Barbara and Rudolf they will appear quite normal. All people involved in the photographing process play an intriguing role in the setting of the picture. The big sizes of the photos will allow the public to see every single detail of the work. All the 13 images are mirrored and the concept and elements used by the artists to develop the project can be understood and perceived by the public only from a certain distance.
For example, you will notice at once that some of the characters in the photos are holding some placates, which are nothing else, but elements that we see every day in the city. These elements include the clock of the “Clock Tower”, the sign of Tirana Train Station or the billboards with the names of bars and/or hotels in Tirana. A common element repeated in all the photos is the Albanian flag. In some of the photos people are either wearing shirts with the Albanian flag or seating in front of the former Textile Factory in Tirana carrying it in the knees. While, the mosque at “Scanderbeg Square” and the public institutions are on the opposite side. The same for the green building with yellow arrows at Tirana e Re points on the opposite side in the direction of the city centre. The black eagel with two heads, the simbol of our Falg is the only elements that remain the same even if the photos are in revers.

The photos taken in key places in Tirana reflect the political changes and social dynamics that took place in the city during the last month. The artists and students involved in the project have created a series of pictures associated as metaphors for this situation. They try to provide a mirrored situation of the reality in which we live and that we are all part of this converted reality. Our responsibility is to bring it to the right position. This art work enables us to see the world from a different perspective and to question the role that we all play in the society.

with special thanks to:
Matilda Odobashi, Illir Kaso, Florjan Fejzollari, Redi Saliasi, Enkeleda Suti (TIRANA ART LAB)
Dritan Nasi & Team (TEN Center Tirana)
Jona Matohiti / Ashraf Anwer (MAK – Albania)
Klajdi Kruja, Rubin Beqo, Edmond Ramushi (TIRANA EKSPRES)

For more detailed information, please visit:
• Tirana Art Lab (Adela Demetja) tiranaartlab.wordpress.com Will open in a new tab or window/
• Haus am Gern (Rudolf Steiner & Barbara Meyer Cesta: www.hausamgern.ch Will open in a new tab or window
• Prohelvetia: www.prohelvetia.ch Will open in a new tab or window

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