"Man of the castle” by Blerta Kambo Utopian Magazine

“Man of the castle” by Blerta Kambo

"Man of the castle” by Blerta Kambo is on view at the Center for Openness and Dialogue (The Prime Minister’s building) until February 14 2024

Blerta Kambo, “Man of the Castle” is a photographic series that gives the exhibition its title and serves as the central artwork within it. The series consists of photographs of buildings with a shape reminiscent of castles, built by men who, as expected, carry out their roles as the man of the house or the man of the castle.

Subsequently, Kambo digitally intervenes by transforming them into infrared light, also known as a light invisible to the human eye. The peculiarity of infrared light is that it turns everything around the castles pink, a colour that is not so “masculine” from a heteronormative perspective. The effect of this technique becomes more apparent when surrounded by nature, which metaphorically represents the feminine energy of the women living under the lordship of the castle – the invisible light.

The dreamscapes clash with the toughness that these buildings seek to represent. For Kambo, patriarchy, the system that subjugates women, is the same system that oppresses men, compelling them to perform while remaining emotionally silent.

The manifestation of toxic masculinity, or male fragility, found everywhere, but with a Balkans specificity, continues with additional references in the exhibition: a pink glass sculpture – an impossible ladder; pink curtains – a reference to the gender reveal party, but also to the Barbie film; LED-lit texts of misogynistic Albanian proverbs, and a series of screenshots from Tinder, the dating app.

Blerta Kambo (b. 1985) is an Albanian photographer and visual artist. Her personal projects follow a conceptual approach, addressing themes such as archives, multiple truths/fictions, ecofeminism, fragile masculinity, space as a feeling, and architecture embedded in space – as a narrative within its social context.

In 2023, Blerta was a finalist for the Circa Contemporary Art Prize, London, UK.

Enri Mato

​Founder & Concept creator: UTOPIAN Magazine
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