Earth, Milky Way: punctum books, 2022. 364 pages, illus. ISBN-13: 978-1-68571-058-3. DOI: 10.53288/0341.1.00. OPEN-ACCESS e-book and $25.00 in print: paperbound/5 X 8 in.

Broken Narrative stages a critical intervention in the discourse on the ways contemporary art’s history is intertwined with the rise of global neoliberal capitalism, and it does so while simultaneously offering a sustained and multifaceted look at postsocialist Albania. Lulaj and Mazzi’s dialogue ranges between geopolitics and aesthetics–unpacking the layers of mediation that at once bind together and separate memory, testimony, and history–and providing compelling insights on what it means for artists to act in society.”~ Raino Isto, ARTMargins Online

Broken Narrative: The Politics of Contemporary Art in Albania

Broken Narrative provides an extensive reflection on history, politics, and contemporary art, revolving around the cornerstones of the artistic practice of Albanian artist Armando Lulaj. The core of the book is formed by and extended interview of Lulaj by Italian artist and writer Marco Mazzi. This inquiry starts in the year 1997, a year of social and political upheaval in Albania, of anarchy, controversies and emigration, of toxic seeds of neoliberalism sprouting in an already wounded country, and continues to the present day, where politics, hidden behind art forms, has practically destroyed (again) every different and possible future of the country. This book also sketches out a connection between the recent Albanian political context and contemporary art by considering the realities of Albania as essential for an understanding of the dynamics of international power in contemporary art and architecture, and the role of politics therein.

Broken Narrative comes in a bilingual English–Japanese edition, in part as homage to the subtle esthetics of Japanese poetry, which has inspired many of the Lulaj’s works, while equally evoking the subversive films of the Red Army, active in Japan at the turn of the 1960s and ’70s. Broken Narrative contains a double preface in English by Albanian scholar Jonida Gashi and in Japanese by photographer Osamu Kanemura.

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