To paint is also to design architecture, or to write stories about contemporary social history. It is a specific way of inhabiting the world, with which to transform the artistic gesture into an instrument of reflection and an opportunity to share it. This is true for Edi Hila, who has made painting his main artistic practice, which allows him to convey images about reality.
Edi Hila presents his second solo exhibition with the gallery, once again unfoling across all three exhibition spaces of Via Stradella. He always pays scrupulous attention to the objective dimension of reality: what are we surrounded by? What are the structures which contain us? And above all, who are we sharing our lives with?
The starting point for the creation of the new series of paintings is the daily observation of the public spaces in which he found himself spending time over the last few years. And with them, the individuals who inhabit them: both are sensed as the litmus test of the current historical period, so emblematic and difficult, due to war, the climate crisis and economic challenges.
Hila then goes on a journey with painting, building a map in which to locate the various hubs of human civilization. In his work lays no presumption to possess the truth, rather, the intention to decipher moods, urgencies and introspections, to help us understand ourselves and others.
For this reason, the subjects of the paintings on view are public spaces such as streets, carrousels, cars, subways. They are emblems of sharedness, participation and universality. Some of them are anonymous, others respond to a personal biographical archive, but in any case they are devoid of elitism, far from ideal settings, to be able to portray the common theme of human emotionality in our contemporary world.
The titles of the works make this very clear: In the middle of the road; At the abandoned yard; Temporary shelter; Broken circus; Oda on the boulevard – most of which realized in 2023. These are places that can accommodate anyone in their anonymity, without distiction or rejection. Yet they appear empty and silent. The human figure is only present in three works, two of which are entitled Limbo and the other one Portrait. All of them are situated in the subway, underground: a place detached from the sky, which is linked par excellence to concepts of transience and waiting, as opposed to stasis and permanence.
To quote Zef Paci – Curator of Edi Hila’s solo exhibition at COD in Tirana ( July 14 – August 10, 2023) – “His effort is not directed at displaying what is visible, but rather at making visible. And this leads to an inner dimension that seeks to express all that concerns the air, the atmosphere we smell, its transparencies and reflections”.