Protektim Plastik, 2016
LiVEART.US hosted at Queens Museum, NY
Organized: Hector Canonge
Video credit: Karl Cooney
Protektim Plastik is about a law that was passed by the director of the ministry of education, Dion Spiro, when the arms depot in Albania were broken into, causing a deathly civil war. Mr. Spiro (my father), ordered all the schools to require students to carry their books in plastic bags, in order to easily detect bombs, grenades, or other weapons. Plastic can be radically strong and yet very fragile and transparent. An audio interview with Mr. Spiro, describing his policy and the situation was played in a loop, during the performance.
For this performance, each plastic bag held a book from my parents library collection, accumulated from Albania and their years of living in the United States. I kept filling the plastic bags with books and adding them to the barbell. I performed the olympic lifts with the plastic bags filled with books, until the bags start tearing and the books start falling off. The piece is about trying to “lift” history and confronting my Albanian childhood, inheritance and cultural expectations.