Blerta Kambo: Man of the castle

Blerta Kambo: Man of the castle

Center for Openness and Dialogue (COD)

March 8, 2024
Blerta Kambo
Man of the castle
Barbie references, architecture of inequality, pink against the patriarchy and in defense of men
January 12–February 14, 2024
Man of the castle revisited: February 9–25
Tulla Culture Center
Center for Openness and Dialogue (COD)
Bulevardi Dëshmorët e Kombit
10000 Tirana
Instagram / Instagram / Instagram

Man of the Castle” is a photographic series that gives the exhibition its title and serves as the central artwork within it. The series consists of photographs of buildings with a shape reminiscent of castles, built by men who carry out their roles as the man of the house, or the man of the castle. Subsequently, Kambo digitally intervenes by transforming them into infrared light, also known as a light invisible to the human eye. The peculiarity of infrared light is that it turns everything around the castles pink, a colour that is not so “masculine” from a heteronormative perspective. The effect of this technique becomes more apparent when surrounded by nature, which metaphorically represents the feminine energy of the women living under the lordship of the castle: the invisible light. The dreamscapes clash with the toughness that these buildings seek to represent. For Kambo, patriarchy, the system that supresses women, is the same system that opresses men, compelling them to perform, to prove their masculinity, while silencing them emotionally. The exhibition references often to popular culture and specifically to the 2023 blockbuster film, Barbie. The manifestation of toxic masculinity, or male fragility, found everywhere, but with a Balkans specificity, continues with additional references in the exhibition: a pink glass sculpture, a ladder—an impossible object, but also a real life doll accessory; pink curtain—an allusion to the gender reveal party; installations of LED-lit texts of misogynistic Albanian proverbs, and an installation with a series of screenshots from Tinder which viewers can interact with.

Blerta Kambo (b. 1985) is an Albanian visual artist. Her personal projects follow a conceptual approach, addressing themes such as archives, multiple truths/fictions, ecofeminism, masculinity, space as a feeling, and architecture embedded in space—as a narrative within its social context. She has an MA in Film making from the London Film School.

In 2023, Blerta was a finalist for the Circa Art Prize.

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Center for Openness and Dialogue (COD)
March 8, 2024

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