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In January 2006 Orgacom organized an artist-in-residency, intensive bustour and exhibition with Hotel Mariakapel in Hoorn (the Netherlands) for a group of young Albanian artists: Leonard Qylafi, Adela Demetja, Theodhoraq Napoloni, Irgin Sena and Syabhit Shkreli.

Since two weeks is to short to get an impression of the art context in the Netherlands, Orgacom and Hotel Mariakapel decided to organise a 3 day tour past some residencies in the Netherlands so that the artists could get an idea of the professional possibilities that exist in the Netherlands for artists. These contacts enable Albanian artists to apply for a longer residency in the Netherlands in the future.

Because Albanian artists are still relatively isolated and unknown to the Dutch arts organisations, and because Dutch contemporary arts organisations are also largely unfamiliar with the developing art scene in Tirana (capital of Albania) we wanted to provide the Albanian artists as well as the Dutch arts organisations with a chance to meet each other. We hope Dutch and Albanian arts people/organisations will find each other more easily in the future due to meetings like this.

The organisations that were selected for the tour consisted of organisations that can normally only be entered on appointment, have a residency/research program or that show parts of the organisation that are generally not open to the public. All arts organisations visited by the tour also (re)present larger networks of contemporary art practitioners. The Albanian artists visited museums in diverse cities by themselves (since most mayor museums in the Netherlands are easy to reach by train).

In close collaboration with Transartists (Teike Asselbergs and Danielle van Zuijlen are board members) and the Dutch Pool of artists-in-residencies we organised this tour as a try-out for future tours for foreign artists that have been selected for a residency period in the Netherlands. Often residents often only understand who might be interesting for them towards the end of their residency. If they could get a better feel for the Dutch context earlier in their stay they probably would be more effective in their follow-up and networking activities.

With the generous support of Mondriaan Foundation, province of Noord-Holland and the City of Hoorn.

The opening of the exhibition was at: 14.30 hours, Sunday 12 February 2006 and the exhibition was on till: 5 March 2006
Opening by: the Mayor of Hoorn, Mr. G.O. van Veldhuizen
Filmhouse Hoorn: 16.00 hours, documentary Gjeneral Gramafoni

Point of departure of the exhibition Saze on Tour in Hotel Mariakapel is the Albanese Saze*. With the methaphor of the Saze five different contemporary artists produce one presentation together in Mariakapel. The focus of the presentation is the contemporary social, political and artistic developments in Albania.

Saze*: Around 1900 it was custom in Albania to have a orchestra playing traditional music in the hallway. These hotel orchestras are called Saze. The music was seen as a token of hospitality. People from the city and the visitors met each other in the hallway listening to the orchestra. Every serious hotel had their own Saze. Famous Saze's were invited to play in other hotels and toured the country before recording devices were introduced into the country. Thanks to this touring, Saze's mediated cultures singing songs from different parts of the country. During the Italian occupation (during the Ahmet Zogu King regime) the first recordings were made of famous Saze's. However, the Italians used this to propagandistic ends, recording Saze on the one side and Italian fascist music on the other side. This way the Italians hoped to penetrate Albanian culture.

Background project: this initiative is a result of the participation of Orgacom in the Tirana Biannual 2003 (Albania). Orgacom developed the project Art Hotel / Saze on Tour, in collaboration with young Albanese artists. In the context of this exhibition the film house screens a documentary film about the role of the Saze in traditional Albanese culture: Gjeneral Gramafoni.

For more information contact:

Exhibition/project space
Korte Achterstraat 2A, Hoorn
+31 (0)229 273 573

With thanks to the Mondriaan Foundation, the Province of North-Holland and the City of Hoorn.

As one of the outcomes of our initiatives another exhibition was organized in the same year involving mostly the same artists:

Dear Sir/Madam

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to attend the opening of the exhibition "And the art in between". The exhibition, supported by The Netherlands Embassy in Tirana, Tirana Steel Works S.H.PK Albania and Orgacom, is developed around the idea of collaboration between a Dutch
artist, Helmut Dick and an Albanian artist, Syabhit Shkreli. The exhibition is curated by Stefano Romano and Paula van Zijl.

The exhibition falls within the framework of "1.60insurgent space", a space that move itself continuously inside the cities, producing exhibitions whose intent is to put to comparison international artists with various places, different from the "institutional ones", in order
to create new arguments around the art and its borders.

I look forward to welcome you Monday 24 April 2006 at 16:00 hrs at the pedestrian Lana bridge that connects the "Bloku" area with "Taiwan".

With kind regards,

Sweder van Voorst tot Voorst
Royal Netherlands Embassy