Saturday, January 20, 2007

Miami's Albanian Connection

I thought this was an interesting article!
From South Beach to the Balkans, people in the contemporary art world have heard about Bonnie Clearwater, the executive director and chief curator of North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art. Clearwater's latest fan is the vice director of Albania's National Gallery of Arts, Rubens Shima, who invited Clearwater to curate Albania's first ever pavilion in the Venice Biennale, an annual art fair that showcases works by artists from around the globe.

How did a museum director from North Miami end up curating a show that will represent a nation more than 5,500 miles away? It turns out that a MOCA docent, Amona Berman, is the mother of the American ambassador to Albania, Marcie Reis.

Reis recommended Clearwater to Shima, who also is commissioner for the Albanian pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

''I thought that this would be an amazing thing to do, to work with artists who for the last 16 years are just having the opportunity to experiment,'' Clearwater says, ``because under communism they were very much restricted to the social realism. Even their established masters are in a period of exploration right now, which is very exciting.''

Though the project is not related to her work at MOCA, Clearwater says she hopes the experience will allow her to develop relationships and a dialogue with Albania's contemporary art world, which would benefit the North Miami museum. ''It's good for me as a curator and art historian, being exposed to another type of art world, another mind-set, another approach,'' she says. ``There are a lot of artists I will be watching and staying in touch with and developing continuing relationships with.''

From Miami Herald


oreneta said...

That sounds pretty fascinating. If there is a web site of the show when it comes up, please post a would be fascinating to see.

KALOJ 41 CAFE said...

There are no links, and hardly a few photos. Rubens Shima is an unqualified political National Gallery director now, who had lots of disputes with Bonnie Clearwater about the payments and selection of artists.
They didn't even talk to each other at Venice Biennale and the artists had to have separate meetings with Bonnie and Rubens, and were confused on what was going on. Even the Albanian Minister of Culture had to be involved in their disputes.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kim,

I can't find your e-mail here, but here's our website:
We look forward to meet with you and discuss possible cultural/artistic activities.
All the best,
Blerina and Kevin