Description: Ardian Isufi / Solo Show / Umbrarum Theatrum - Theatre of Shadows
It’s not the shadows in Plato’s cave. Neither is it some puppet shadow theatre from somewhere in the Far East. It is rather the Shadows themselves, our Shadows, the ones that we are inseparable from. They go everywhere we go. They follow us silently, stubbornly.
At every instant we turn the head around and look over the shoulder they’re there, carriers of our consciousness, silent witnesses of our deeds. We try hard to cut loose from them but we never manage. They’re still there, humiliated but defiant, as if wanting to show us our impotence in the face of history. But most of all, they are there to show us that we are making the same mistakes, all over again, as in a theatre play that is being endlessly replayed …
Edi Muka - Curator
Ardian Isufi’s cycle Hypertrophies reminded me of Rodin, who removed the pedestals from underneath the sculptures, and put them at the human level, which is a humanizing anti-authoritarian act of art. Such an act could be done differently, of course, as the means of art are infinite. Isufi realizes it by hypertrophying monuments in his giant canvases that look more like installations of their own kind rather than paintings. Man feels very small and disappears in front of these symbols that have invaded the squares and the public spaces leaving an indelible imprint in our memory. By magnifying them on canvas, it seems as if Isufi has exposed their weaknesses, and defeated them with a gesture similar to that with which David defeated Goliath.
Their aesthetics makes them even more awe-inspiring and at the same time even more absurd in their grandeur. Looking at them you can’t help it but ask: will we ever free ourselves from the authority of these monuments and how can we do that?
Through the exploitation of the paradox in the cycle Hypertrophies Isufi shows us that perhaps we can not annihilate them, but we can make them harmless by hitting them where their strength seems to be: on the grandeur.
Fatos Lubonja - writer, publicist