We are republishing this Open Call issued by Italian Institute of Culture, Albania

Deadline 05 th July 2020

The idea of ‘inhabiting’ brings along a double meaning that derives from its Latin etymology: on the one side, to inhabit is intended in the most commonly used connotation from habitare, actually «to keep», habere «to have», which is linked to the idea of living in a place for a long time, until
almost owning it, making it “ours” in some way. Indeed, not by chance, when we get home we feel sheltered from the external world, we let ourselves go, we are ourselves, and we stay among our things.

According to Heidegger, precisely the dwelling dimension represents the specific being of man and defines the contours of his ontological dimension. Therefore, crossing the threshold of our homes is not only a reassuring moment but one of the primary modalities to affirm our presence in the world.

It is clear then because in these times of severe social, political and economic crisis, someone without a home is considered ‘destitute’, a person that does not possess even our last haven, the most ‘archaic’ one, the cave of millenary memory, where people, since the dawn of his history, have protected themselves from the enemies and dangers of an uncharted world.

Instead, from another and maybe more interesting perspective, we can also bring the word inhabiting back to the Latin noun habitus, which, in Ancient Rome, it was used either in an aesthetic connotation (from here, for example, the Italian masculine noun abito – suit) or in a moral one, to represent the way of living and behaving of the Roman civitas. Animi habitus, civili habitus, etc, are just some of the locutions that were used in Ancient Rome to learn deep nuances of the inhabitants of the time, not only to define a series of adornian value judgments, but rather, to orientate a series of critical gazes toward the costumes of society concerning its times and ‘life’

For a long time, even we, inhabitants of the Third Millennium, considered our habitus as crystallized in a specific shape and with great difficulty we could think about subverting or drastically altering it; we were sure to live in an explored world, so we directed our imagination towards space, outside of Planet Earth. At the same time, we mutated our idea of Time through digital technologies which allowed us to simultaneously be in every place of the globe and to perform hyperjumps that, through the compression of space and time, have extended our dimension far beyond its mere physicality.

This new condition brought us to develop an original relation with the space that surrounds us, a new perception of reality and distances, a new sense of velocity with which we experience the world.

The Covid19 virus has taken advantage of precisely this modernity that we used to know, has transformed our velocity of inhabiting (and owning) it into a weakness, infiltrated our everyday life and disrupted it deeply.

Today, we are in front of one of the most difficult challenges of the last decades, that forces us to change our habits social and/or working ones, and to ‘dress’ a different habitus to adapt to this previously unknown space-time dimension that the virus is forcing us to adopt. We are used to watching the world from home, to work from home, to spend our leisure time in just a few square meters of space, and slowly we are entrusting to the digital ether the extension of our humanity and affectivity. All of this, to project ourselves beyond the spatial limits and to reconquer a place in the world.

If we adopt Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s methodology that the body is at the same time the place of the soul and the matrix of any other existing space, can we reflect on how our physical and emotional relationship with the space we inhabit has changed? On how our mental image of space
has changed? On which ‘fires of the gaze’ are we projecting upon the world from our windows and on how our social, perceptive, spatial, habitus has changed in the light of the continuous transition that this global crisis has brought to bear on us?
This call is directed at artists of every nationality – without limitations or expressive means – and aims, through original works, to organise a collective exhibition and a publication on the topic The Inhabited Space – Perspective Changes for the Decade to Come.

Participation is free and is reserved to artists of every nationality (born after 1979) that, in the last three years, have participated in at least three collective Exhibitions/Events. Participation is open to both singular participants and collectives established as a single entity from any nationality or residency background.

All the artists that intend to participate are asked to send their portfolio, and the project they aim to realize, to the following address, only by WeTransfer: iictirana@esteri.it.

The window for accepting projects will be closed on the 05 th of June 2020, and the final file may not exceed the limit of 10 MB, otherwise, it will be considered invalid.

The file should also contain the following information:

• Name – Surname and address of the artist
• Title and explanation of the work intended to be realized (max. 200 characters, spaces included)
• Short bio and portfolio
• The material listed above must necessarily be presented in .PDF format (max. total size of 10Mb).
• At this stage, the videos should be included within the project (Vimeo and You Tube,with links and passwords).

Each participant may only enter one project and only selected participants will be contacted byemail. The winning projects will be announced on the website of the Italian Institute of Culture of Tirana (www.iictirana.esteri.it).

At the end of the contest, a publication with the best 25 selected projects will be produced, and,according to the evolving situation, in December 2020 we hope to hold an exhibition in Tirana in the spaces offered by our local partners.

The winners will be proclaimed by a Scientific Committee composed of art critics, curators, etc.

Names will be announced together with their winning projects.

The selected participants will be asked to assign copyrights for the publication of a catalogue and of different disclosure material. The artist must guarantee that work is his/her original work and derivative and that s/he did not violate any third-person rights.

Alessandra Bertini Malgarini (Istituto Italiano di Cultura) – Valerio Perna (Polis University) – Stefano Romano (Polis University)


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