MARTIN KRENN
Vienna, Austria

On the second day of my residency I asked at the National Museum to get a book of Tirana in English. I got one - from under the table. It is a kind of Tourist Guide that was published in German/English/French/Albanian in 1990. After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 Albania was the last country in Europe with a communist system (Until 1992). The book is meant to be a photographic guide where you can visit in Tirana all buildings and attractions of Enver Hoxha and his communist party. It presents a perfect communist town.
I decided to re-photograph the places to look how they changed after 17 Years. For example the former Enver Hoxha Museum has now a sign with „Welcome President Bush“ on its top.
In addition to the photo-series I got the possibility to do a video-interview with the photographer of the original book, Petrit Kumi, from whom I could get additional information about the backgrounds of the production of the book.
My project is investigating the mechanism of ideologic rhetoric and image politics on the example of a book, that was made during the last days of a communist totalitarian regime in Europe. It also shows in a subtle way how neo-liberal capitalism destroyed places that nevertheless of the dictatorship functioned socially and economically well.