27.09.04 – 18.11.2005 “Object of desire” Solo show @ Gallery The Flat, Milan, Italy.
(Curated by Gabi Scardi)
“There is no place like home”. Anila Rubiku knows it well. She left home many years ago in the search for a place to call her own, leaving behind the family and her mother’s mountain of crocheted doilies and hand-made lace articles, the home-made tiles, the goldfish pond, the long corridors and large rooms whose floors were covered with decorations, and the high windows whose handles she could hardly reach as a child. Since that time, Rubiku has been carrying her home inside her and with every new project she reinvents it, reworking the concept, imagining new narrative strategies to describe it. The rooms and houses created by Anila Rubiku are intimate, individual and charged with a private dimension in which domestic space and interior being overlap. It is starting from herself that Rubiku rebuilds her own spaces differently each time, and the filter of her gaze makes ultimate feminine territories of these spaces; what takes place there is a subjective and affective narration that unfolds, bit by bit, through images of daily home interiors, family groups or single figures. The technique of needlework too, this precious and painstakingly precise domestic technique through which the artist chooses to express herself ever more frequently, has emerged over time as a family inheritance that Rubiku thought she had left behind her for good.
In her works, places and spaces carry unforgettable memories, which rise from the past, but they also carry latent feelings, about the vicissitudes of the present, about projections on the future. This is why magnificent objects of design, objects of Anila’s desire, occupy corners of rooms that in real life have never actually housed them. And there are male presences too, who tell of highly intense emotional relationships, experienced or imagined, elusive relationships, never definitely resolved, only hinted at in some of a thousand possible variations. Love is perhaps like this for Anila Rubiku, what her rules are, it’s impossible to say. But certainly her female figures are always active and nonchalant, free from the pressure to conform to a model, even an alternative model. Hers is a traveller’s itinerary that covers everyday life, day by day, with mindful and concrete attention. And her women, disenchanted but serene self-portraits, lean forward, ready to face the game of life: in many of her works, a dice or a domino-patterned floor represent the approach to challenge.
Upon everything – the family portraits and self-portraits, her mother’s lace doilies and the homemade children’s clothes, on the sensual high-heeled red shoes and the golden thread that pulls back the man with a suitcase in his hand, already reaching for the open door, on all of this gently blows the projection of memory and the imprint of absence: manifested in the inconsistencies of dimension and the insistence on certain details, and in the long perspectives through which Rubiku expresses time, distance and recollection. Created with devotion and considerable time, but also containing cross-references and sub-texts, Anila Rubiku’s images portray the stages of a journey and the importance of relationships, the psychic depths in which our emotive lives take place. They also reveal the desire to anchor fantasy to everyday reality and vice versa, the possibility to poetically experience an absolutely real and disillusioned world…ours.
Text by Gabi Scardi