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I firmly believe that it is much more fascinating to live in a place than simply to visit it, because for me being a tourist is never enough. I don't want to chase local attractions, I don't want to limit myself to taking pictures. I want to sit on a bench to listen to what passers-by are saying to each other, stroll the streets with the certainty of getting lost, lie down on a lawn to observe the sky, find myself in a bar in the midst of strangers on an appointment that does not belong to me.

And as I walk through the central corridor of the Arsenale, during the sixteenth edition of the Venice Biennale, I find myself in the Albanian pavilion living in a city I've never been in before.

I wander in a space free from boundaries and predetermined paths and I almost feel in difficulty because I don't know where to start shooting. I start to get lost and find myself in one of the many streets of the city. As I pass by the characteristic colored doors, I notice that they are ajar and I see other people passing through them. So I decide to imitate them. I imagine I am walking through the threshold of a shop or a house and I almost expect to find someone on the other side. I look up and begin to focus on that infinite series of suspended pixels that I had noticed from afar. They are all photographs, glimpses of the city, little stories of everyday life that, together, come together to complete a puzzle. I find myself submerged in colors, sounds and scents. Tirana presents itself to my eyes in all its beauty and apparent simplicity, in a sort of dance in which order and chaos chase each other, sometimes collide, sometimes brush without ever touching.

In this dance I also participate first as a tourist, then as a citizen, and finally as an "architect" of the space. I move freely on the ground floor of a city that has been slowly modified by everyday life and by the common sense of those who live there. Exactly as I decide how to use the space at this moment, the inhabitants of Tirana for years have continued to "open and close doors", blurring the boundaries between private and public. The "zero floor" in which I find myself is the one from which the urban design of the city restarts, moving away from the original and transforming itself into a measurable model on a more human scale.

The Tirana I am experiencing is a Eutopia, literally "a good place", a place that can be visited and known. Being a tourist here can't be enough.

- ILDE -

HAPËSIRA ZERO SPACE, Albania Pavilion, Elton Koritari © Ilde Manuela Paolucci for WMMQ

HAPËSIRA ZERO SPACE, Albania Pavilion, Elton Koritari - DETAIL © Ilde Manuela Paolucci for WMMQ

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