At the corner: Valbona
By Stefano Romano

(....) The focus of Su Tomesen’s research was the informal economy, an integral part of the Albanian economic reality. The final film she is preparing will be screened in September. However, during the shooting of this work the Dutch artist conceived a new work titled At the corner.

During her residency the artist engaged deeply with the road, Rr. Myslym Shyri – a place where she was also located - considered one of the most elegant streets along which you can find many shops selling expensive fabrics, clothes and wedding dresses. Yet, even here there are micro realities of subsistence that highlighted through the magnifying glass developed by Su, become much more present than you might notice when walking along the street. Small, fragmented realities of survival that everyday change and mutate the visual landscape of the road. In her wanderings through the city the art- ist came across a woman selling flowers at the eastern corner of the perimeter of Enver Hoxha’s former villa. Valbona, the florist, is a very polite and smiling lady, always ready to give a flower and a smile to passers-by who stop to greet her. Even her clothing tells of her love for flowers, jackets with floral designs, colored shirts like the roses she sells. Su fell "in love" with Valbona for all these characteristics, and day after day their relationship grew. Su filmed Valbona, Valbona offered flowers to Su, till the moment Su asked Valbona to feature for At the corner.

The resulting video of an ordinary day of the florist is beamed on a gallery wall, creating a "diptych" with the florist herself present to sell her flowers. Reality is duplicated in time and space, creating a short circuit between a one-way media such as video, in which the audience can only look at Valbona selling her flowers, and the reality in which Valbona, dressed in the same clothes as in the video, sells her flowers to people in the gallery. It’s as if this repeating gesture in a continuous exchange with the video, transforms reality in the loop of itself.