ON IDEOLOGY MORPHING INTO FORM
Genti Korini is particularly interested in the metamorphoses of the visual idiom “spoken” by ideologies and by the architectural materializations of these metamorphoses, since he believes that architecture is the most expressive and obvious tool that a government has at its disposal.
Under the communist totalitarian regime architecture imposed a certain code of unification, a code for the “(wo)man of the masses”, while simultaneously asserted and celebrated the regime’s triumphant grandeur. In the age of neoliberal freedom the ideological idiom has been hijacked by capital and has found new forms of expressions in the domain of architecture. Therefore, Korini is prompted to ask: how does ideology manifests itself through form? This question reverberates through his paintings and his research projects in photography; for a whole set of reasons it has come to carry particular significance for Albania. Korini talks about the exoticizing, “othering” lens through which the West regards Albania and its art. He believes in the importance of establishing a dialogue with the modernist tradition that has been forcefully and artificially interrupted in his country. How, on what terms is this dialogue possible today? The artist never ceases to reflect on this question, suggesting his own answers to it, as if trying to compensate for the historical lacuna and to fill in this gaping absence with the different versions of modernist abstraction. He continues to develop its ontological reflection and to examine its potentialities in the new and different political and cultural contexts.
Korini is not the only artist to contemplate the relationship between form and ideology within Albania’s urban spaces. A fellow Albanian Anri Sala creates impressive video artworks about the new architecture of Tirana with its houses transformed by means of colors, marked by the imprint of post-painterly abstraction, the most momentous and precious (to today’s capitalism) pinnacle of modernism.
Korini goes to great lengths studying and reconstructing the modernist agenda of image and medium. His abstractions appear to be figurative while remaining abstract. They bear an uncanny resemblance to architecture, while being painterly in essence. They hint at the presence of material objects while simultaneously destroying the construction of space that can potentially contain an object within it. His painterly forms, surfaces and structures mobilize and challenge the viewers’ imagination, but do not provide them with ready-made answers.
— Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, Anton Streletzki, Vienna 2014