We the Peoples - United Nations Day 2022 in Albania
999 Portraits by David Cuka
About the Artist:
David Cuka is an Albanian artist who has chosen photography to document, mainly, especially the aspects of life that relate to human rights. In the project "999 Portraits", the artist focused his camera lens on the characters, inviting them to be themselves (without any prejudice) and not discriminating them in any way.
David Cuka has produced and published his work broadly in the local and European media and has opened several exhibitions in Albania. The artist uses photography to raise and promote awareness on social equality and women's rights; he advocates against the discrimination of the LGBTI+ community in the country and the region, a community to which he belongs, as a transgender person.
About the Exhibition:
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To represent what makes us unique - this is the research of David Cuka's photography. The artist creates portraits paying as much attention to social fractures as to emotional states, to characters as to affiliations,
to fragments and details as to the context. Cuka seeks to incisively influence the present, not simply reproduce or document it. The whole project is in search of the archetype and spirit of Humanity, through
the diversity and uniqueness of the Being. The photographs in this project are the product of a longtime work with the subjects, emotional involvement with them, and their careful selection. The artist, thus, transforms the photographs into the epitome of the relationship between reality and its figuration . Furthermore, the pictures become objects implemented to mediate relationships between people – they activate these relationships.
999 Portraits are in exposed in important urban spaces in Tirana, but they could fill up any square or public space anywhere in the world. They create journeys (experiences) for citizens, stimulating the individuation
processes, which, according to Jung, do not exclude the world but rather encompass it. The Gelstaltian refraction of the codes of language and sign, the almost raw, unprocessed photographs – the opposite of the
photogenic world of billions of portraits on the social media, along with the non-standardized composition and cropping by the same social networks - their exhibition in the public space where David's characters mostly project their lives, create the premises for the visitor to experience much more than just the sum of the 333 or 999 photographs showed in the exhibition.
The human labyrinth that visitors travel through, a symbolic representation of the letters UN (United Nations), activate an inner spiritual journey in an individual and, at the same time, collective dimension. To never forget that the abnegation of the sense of belonging to humanity triggers hate speech mechanisms. To never forget that indifference or even just ignorance can act as a springboard to intolerance. To never forget that remaining silent before the human circumstances, (even the most extreme ones), such as, abuse and injustice, human rights violations, is an expression of complicity with the violence or injustice being committed.
"We the Peoples" exhibition, refines the contemporary challenges of the United Nations Organization. Starting from its title, the exhibition celebrates humanity in all its diversity and inspires it to strive for a
better world. The exhibition aims to represent in a figurative way how unity, collaboration and dialogue are the only tools to consciously implement a change that translates into a single collective breath that
celebrates humanity in all its diversity and inspires it to a fairer world. This meanings are clearly displayed in the poetic and ambitious work of the artist David Cuka.