Talk by former participant Sonja Lau with artist Armando Lulaj about his documentary film Never on 9 May during the International Conference Performing Protest. Re-imagining the good life in times of crisis 8 -10 mei 2014, Leuven (BE).
Until recently, one could still perceive the traces of a monumental inscription nearby the Albanian city of Berat: In the 1960s, the country’s dictator Enver Hoxha had commissioned the sketching of his first name, “ENVER”, onto the surrounding mountains.
After a failed attempt in the 1990s to eradicate the then nearly haunted name, the huge inscription – each letter measuring 150m in height – uncannily persisted. In the summer of 2012, the Albanian playwright, film maker and producer of conflict images Armando Lulaj succeeded to re-write the dictator’s former commission, implementing, however, a distinct alteration: ENVER became NEVER.
In his documentary film with the same title, Lulaj offers a closer glimpse at his laborious ‘re-dedication’ and the process of (un-) naming the recent past whilst in a sense re-enacting the historical incident. The “NEVER-Chart” – a diagram the artist developed to accompany the film – suggests further possible layers of meaning and intertwining discourses that encompass the work.
How “corruption” relates to “déjà-vu photography”, “courage” to “cannibalism”, or “land art” to Lacan, are only some of the aspects which will form the basis of a comprehensive talk with the artist on his specific strategy of performing protest.
More info: www.performingprotest.com