Sacrifice as a motif, for life to live

I dream, therefore I exist

In his last exposition, Ëndërrimtarë të (Reality Dreamers), Ilir Kaso, who now has a prominent profile in the map of the Albanian contemporary art, raised one of those dilemmas that float around in philosophy, in literature, visual arts, cinematography and beyond, precisely what he warns through the title of the exposition: the rapport or the relation between dream and reality. What is the dream and what is its limit? How real is reality and how can we define it? How much can we trust our senses to move towards a belief? Who can we call a dreamer, the one who dreams unwillingly or the one who dreams consciously? After all, who can be called a dreamer? These and other questions of this kind are imposed on you, like big writings on walls, of course, on condition that you've visited the exposition not on the opening day, but on the following days, when you have the chance to have a dialogue with yourself and the works.

If we tried to give some kind of answer to the doubt raised by Borges, when he raises the question: what is the difference between dreams and the past?, which in fact coincides somehow with the dream (the reality that continuously becomes the past) within the dream, it turns out that what's true, real, that sticks, is the dreamer, whereas what's dismantled, turned into a dream whilst becoming the past, is indeed reality. From this point on, the maxima of Descartes "I think, therefore I exist" becomes: I dream, therefore, I exist. In this way, we see that the only real or sure thing is dreaming, if we agree with Borges above, who equals reality (the past) with the dream. Here's a tale that reinforces this further: One night, the Chinese philosopher Chuang-Tzu dreamt he was a butterfly flying around the room, moving his wings happily. In the morning, faced with the undeniable fact that he was not a butterfly, he asked himself how he could prove if it was Chuang-Tzu the one who dreamt that he was a butterfly, or the butterfly that was now dreaming that he was Chuang-Tzu? So, Chuang-Tzu, just like that, but with a fresh mind, as it was morning, lived one of the greatest doubts related to the truth of existence. However he solved this dilemma, Chuang-Tzu or any other person, what's sure is the fact that we are dealing with dreaming as a true state of being - there can be no doubt about this at least. Dreaming is about the return.

"Almost two thousand years later, in his "Meditations", Decartes, raised the same question: how could he prove that the world he was seeing around was not the work of an evil power, which was perhaps showing to him the image of a world that didn't exist, the answer of which took us to one of the most famous maxims of European philosophy" that we mentioned above. "Around 400 years later, the postmodern society, even though in a different shape, continues to raise this question . But today, it's raised in a different way: is simulacrum replacing the true reality, the copy of reality created by the technology of image reproduction (photography, film, television, internet, computer, video - so, mass-media)? Briefly, if we use the Baudrillard metaphor, we are living in reality or in its (simulacrum) map, whilst reality is shrinking due to lack of usage?
Could it be that, with the fast development of mass-media, we are creating a map of reality, similar to the one that Borges mentions, which is expanding quickly and is risking to cover in a near future the entire territory of physical reality?"
Even in the last video of Kaso, in essence, we meet the same reflection and search that took off with the exposition "Reality Dreamers", but this time with a focus moved to another context, which is nature, or the environment issue.
By using the slow motion technique/effect, the character at the center of the format, which is caught in the act of jumping from a high cliff to dive in the river, first seems like, at that moment, right there, a sudden doubt makes him hesitate and another moment follows, frozen in the air, like crucified. The latter is the peak of the video, which can raise some issues with ontological sensitivity, like the relationship of the being with the territory he has settled in, the sacrifice as an act for the continuity of life, the being or being suspended in the air in the metaphysic aspect (in the video we can see he's not in the air, nor on the ground) and maybe some other matter.
All these, among others, are signs of a meditation of the author, philosophical and artistic, which in my opinion is tactfully successful in reminding us or keeping us in touch with topics that have a substantial relation with the human, or better said, with its fulfillment.
When the character freezes in the air, like crucified, the nature in the background seems to withdraw/ disappear, until it goes totally dark, and graphically the character stands out even more. This culminating act that Kaso communicates at the end of the video, I tend to see as the act of a martyr, who sacrifices himself in the name of life continuity; it gives priority to what belongs to all of us, versus our personal wellbeing, which however, if not today, will be threatened tomorrow, as we are all testimonies of how much, every day more and more, the natural balances are being destroyed, in the name of a God that holds the aggressive name "progress", and we have no idea where it will take us. In this way, together with the destruction of natural balances, the balance of every human life is being destroyed.
"How sad to think that nature speaks and mankind doesn't listen." (Hugo)
For life to keep living, we need acts in the name of something that is bigger than ourselves, that goes beyond that. And if we are not capable to do such thing, we have then fallen into the trap of individualism, a trap that keeps us in a state of ontological delirium. The latter can be translated as self-forgetfulness.


Edison Çeraj, April 2014