Ardhje 2010

After an intense research process started in April, the selection team under the leadership of Zef Paci and assisted by Valentina Koca and Tina Finnas, announces the list of seven talented artists, participants of the Grand Finale of Contemporary Art Award, ARDHJE 2010. This year’s shortlisted artists that will compete for the artist in residency in New York City are:

- Ledia Kostandini

- Theodoraq Napoloni

- Dritan Hyska

- Fani Zguro

- Alketa Ramaj

- Enkelejd Zonja

- Albert Brahaj

Contemporary Art Award ARDHJE 2010 every year highlights the most exciting among young contemporary artists in Albania. Since its inception, this event maps and documents the developments in the Albanian scene of contemporary art. As in the previous events, the selected works in this year’s edition display attempts to observe the Albanian reality, with an awareness of our recent past. This is attempt is a strive towards an actively critical participation in contemporary life.

The Grand Finale exhibition of the ARDHJE Award 2010 will be held simultaneously at Hekla Center premises as well as at Zeta Gallery, on June 30, at 7.00 p.m. A number of selected works and projects from the participating artists will be put on display, curated by Zef Paci. At the inauguration of the Grand Finale, the winner of ARDHJE 2010 will be awarded by the international jury composed of:

Cecilia Canziani, curator and writer, co-director of Fondazione Noma, Rome;

Erzen Shkololli, artist and curator, initiator and director of EXIT Institute for Contemporary Art, Peja;

Sadik Spahija, artist and Dean of Visual Arts Department at the Academy of Arts, Tirana


IInitiated in 2007, ARDHJE Award has established itself as the leading event, entirely dedicated to the work of young Albanian artists. Created by TICA – Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with FCS – Foundation for Civil Society, New York, the ARDHJE Award is the only professional contemporary art award in Albania, consisting of a six week long residency in New York City for the winner, provided by FCS. Differing from all other award events, that mainly aim to use artists for mere marketing purposes, the ARDHJE Award is built only on the independently created artistic work of young Albanian artists, and focuses in providing high exhibition standards, production of art works and projects as well as vital connections to the professional, international art world.

Since 2008, the Grand Finale exhibition is co-organized with Zeta Gallery, the only independent contemporary art gallery in Tirana.

The exhibition of the Grand Finale of ARDHJE 2010 is made possible due to the generous support provided by FAVA – The Foundation for Albanian Visual Arts, the only independent foundation in Albania, offering support to contemporary art, artists and artist’ initiatives.


Ledia Kostandini, studied design at the Academy of Arts in Tirana. She’s participated in numerous events. Her work is built on an artistic research, closely related to the surrounding reality, operated mainly in painting and photography.

Theodoraq Napoloni studied painting at Academy of Arts in Tirana. Painting is still his medium of artistic opration, while the subject of his works has a particular importance for him. Departing mainly from an intuitive selection of subjects, he reveals an invisible reality that strongly marks fragmented moments of our history. The nature of the painted objects is related to personal experiences of fear, awe, surprise and fascination.

Dritan Hyska studied at the Academy of Arts in Venice, finishing in 2005, and has participated in a number of international events. Since 2001, his artistic research is focused on urban realities, at first in his homeland, and later on in Italy and elsewhere. The human presence is absent in his photos. What takes central place indeed is the product of human culture, science and technique.

Fani Zguro studied at the Brera Art Academy in Milan. He has participated in numerous group and solo shows, locally and internationally. In his works we are faced with inherited problems and situations from the previous regime in Albania, brought to us through a selection of publications presented as visual material with his artistic intervention, as well as juxtaposition of old film excerpts with modern music.

Alketa Ramaj studied at the Academy of Arts in Tirana from 2002-2006. She has been involved with a group of young Albanian artists and has participated in various group shows locally and internationally. Her photographs are a sharp observation on the continuous changing urban landscape, during a long transitory period in Albania.

Enkelejd Zonja studied painting at the Academy of Arts in Tirana from 2005-2009. He has had an intense artistic activity, with exhibitions and residencies, in Albania as well as abroad. In his series of paintings presented in the show we are confronted with an ambiguous situation, where common place and drama intertwine, waiting for something to happen.

Albert Brahaj studied at the Academy of Arts in Tirana. In his video “The Veteran” we see a reality inhabited by characters that live through parallel realities, spiritually linked to the former system in Albania, while materially trying to find ways to support themselves in the new system.