After a long hiatus, this post returns us to a series begun years ago, featuring scans of the historically indispensable publication PamorART, a magazine published by the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana, during Gëzim Qëndro’s time as Director. The editor-in-chief of the publication was Eleni Laperi, and its editorial staff included Suzana Varvarica Kuka, Ylli Drishti, and Edi Muka. PamorART began publication in 1998, and was a crucial reflection of the artistic and cultural scene in Albania in the late 90s, providing a specialized venue for discussion and critical assessment of the visual arts in the country. PamorART holds a tremendous significance for histories of contemporary Albanian art, since it is one of the few publications where we can get a glimpse of the relationship between the developing post-socialist and post-1997 art scene, in dialogue with the central artistic institution in the country, the National Gallery. It’s also a tribute to the important work done by the longstanding research staff of the gallery (including Eleni, Suzana, and Ylli)–work that I think is seldom recognized. The issues of PamorART are very hard to find–hence my desire to make them widely available to researchers.
This particular issue focuses on the Onufri ’99 exhibition, including interviews between the editors and many of the participants. It also includes a creative, humorous, and very compelling interview “Between the Real and the Virtual: An Interview with the National Gallery of Arts.” Written by Qëndro, the interview unfolds between PamorART (as an entity) and the National Gallery (also a self-aware entity, and explores how the gallery itself considers its own history, its role in society, and its relation to viewership.
As part of a cataloguing and ultimately digitizing project at the Center for Artistic Documentation (QDA, at the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and the Study of Art, IAKSA, in Tirana), I’ve been working on gathering together materials related to institutional and exhibition histories of the 1990s and onwards. This scan is part of that project (the resolution of this one is quite low, since it’s from my phone, but there will also be a high-res scan made for the Center for Artistic Documentation). We will also be scanning copies of the rest of the issues.
I first began archiving the PamorART issues on this website back in 2016. You can see the first issue of the publication here, and the second issue here. These first two issues were scanned by Vincent WJ van Gerven Oei, who received them from Gëzim Qëndro before he passed away. I think both of them for initiating the project.