press release

Traveling light. Nothing to lose challenges many long held conceptions in art history and practice. Myths of artistic creativity have been tied (in the Romantic tradition) to poverty, the renunciation of the bourgeois world of material wealth for the freezing garret - the privations and suffering of a Van Gough, Puccini's bohemian and its contemporary re-incarnation in the characters of Rent who glory in being as "Us rather than Them".

Contemporary art practice has, on the other hand, bridged the gap between high art materials and the stuff of life, aestheticizing the mundane, while at the same time, reaping the benefits of the glamour and high prices of the art market.

The artist works selected for Traveling Light reject both positions. The link between creativity and renunciation and suffering is turned on its head as is the need for the highly labor intensive or complex and costly material that characterizes much contemporary production.

The works in the exhibition suggest that creativity, grounded in "modest" circumstance, in risk, deprivation and lack of basic material, can produce fanciful flights of imagination and innovation. The harsh facts of a tyrannical political system do not condemn production to an expression of suffering or nihilistic pessimism. What the artists in this exhibition share is the desire to make something out of nothing (or very little) to take the viewer on a journey with little baggage to show them how amazingly far one can go without even a small care package. The works selected privilege those talents who translate their own difficult situations into artworks, critical but not lamenting of the circumstances in which they live.

Traveling light. Nothing to lose is presented in cooperation with the National Gallery of Tirana, Albania and the Provincia of Modena, Italy. It is the first in a series of exhibitions between the Chelsea Art Museum, Home of the Miotte Foundation, and international art institutions. This series is intended to promote an exchange of artistic and cultural perspectives across social boundaries.

The exhibition was curated by Julia Draganovic, Director of the Chelsea Art Museum, Home of the Miotte Foundation and Curator for the Province of Modena.


only in german

Traveling light. Nothing to lose
Kurator: Julia Draganovic

mit Lumturi Blloshmi, Enrica Borghi, Robert Dragot, Bruna Esposito, Christine de la Garenne, Alban Hajdinaj, Aurelia Mihai, Tobias Putrih, Stefano Romano, Anila Rubiku, Gentian Shkurti