Memorie.al brings the rare testimony of the famous sculptor, Agim Rada, regarding the early friendship with his friend and colleague, Kristaq Rama, about whom he speaks with sympathy and the opposite about his son, Edin, who once kept him close … “I do not want anything, just let us work quietly”, says the rebellious sculptor about the current prime minister who once had an idol Rada and, in his book, “Reflections”, has written long about him….?!
Agim Rada, who is also the author of the bust of Mit’hat Frashëri that was placed in the hills of Lake Tirana with an official ceremony and that had a harsh reaction from left-wing segments, etc. Mr. Rada has made a short history of his family and personal history, focusing on the relationships and relations he had with his friend and colleague, the sculptor Kritaq Rama, as well as his son, Edin, i who in the 80’s had Rada as an idol and in his book “Refleksione” he wrote at length about her. But this has not flattered Rada at all, who tells about the friendship he had with Edin until 1990, he said that from that time until today, that is, for 30 years that he has not met or did not drink even a coffee with today’s prime minister. For more about this, but also other events and stories from his life, the interview given to Memorie.al informs us.
Continued from the previous issue
Mr. Rada, even Edi is very weak here…?!
Yes, he is very weak, he is also old… but there are some other photos that I gave him and he does not know he is the director… where I went out with Professor Kristaq, Perikli Çuli, etc. torn, as I was ashamed that the next generation would see those photos like “Mathauzen”,…
You did not like yourself…?!
Nooo, and the best part is that they kept us charming at the time and I’m surprised to see them today…
You have mentioned Professor Kristaq several times and you have established a very strong bond with him since you came to Tirana again and you have maintained these ties until he passed away.
Kristaqi has been a good man, he has been a loving guy with everyone. I do not forget this, there was a time when he was 50 years old and he said to me: “Gimo, I talked to Neta and we will not invite anyone. I will do it with my mom with Neta and my two sons. “But you will come and tell me, by chance as if you are looking for something and I will invite you inside as if by force”. And I forget that we were not used to eating and drinking like that. Kristaq’s mother had a lot of hands in the kitchen, she handled every kind of cooking and I had never seen those kinds of cooking and drinks. I was amazed.
Did you enjoy the reception…?
See how it works. And they are not who they were. Here in Albania such a phenomenon occurred, where they wanted to be the aristocracy of communism rather than they really were. After all, that officer, we are saying, received a thousand lek more than me, he also had a smaller privilege, but he also received that black and white TV….
Have they all lived the same…?
All the same, those I just said served the regime better and were proud of it, but on the horizontal plane we were all inside the prison, so all miserable. I remember that even when I brought a packet of cheese to Kristqi (because my brother worked as a driver in Trade), he was happy, because again they were with tolls. Despite staying with Nexhmija and other leaders, he was the toll on his neighborhood. So, we were there, except for those 20-30 families who were there in the Block.
However, you attended his 50th birthday?
Yesss, I had it for honor, and that I forget it
During the employment relationship, he often got the opinion…?
Yes, I said I worked with him, we worked together. I drank a lot, the truth is I drank a lot and he talked to me a lot: “Gimi, if you are a good sculptor, why do you drink, why do you waste time on the streets, why so, why so”. So, he often spoke to us and drew our attention to these vices that I had….
When did you really dedicate yourself to work…?
Look, to be honest, I drank and drank and drank so much that there came a time when I left and sculpture. It was a misfortune that I am not forgiven. For almost 15 years I have not touched handicrafts!
You broke up…?
I totally broke away and arrived at a moment when someone mentioned art to me and said: O Gimi why does it not work, I got hot and irritated and I said, ejjj Get off! Too bad, as drinking leads to total degradation. When I look at myself from above… but now I have returned with vitality and energy and I say: Oh God forgive me a few days to make those dreams of mine come true.
Gimo, I do not know, but you were praised at that time by your comrades and friends, not only for your anticonformism, but the man of the joke, the man who….
See this place was tragicomic, i.e. as tragic as this situation was, so comical were these leaders. Think of the situation here when the statesman said: potatoes are both bread and butter, so you understand what the situation is. It was the tragedy that this country fell into the hands of some ignorant and it was the comedy that the ignorant produces endless stupidity…
I am continuing where I quoted a little above, you are mentioned in the pages of a book, written by the current Prime Minister…
Yes Edi Rama…
I will read some of the verses that are written just for you.
“When I crossed the threshold of the Art Institute in 1982, I immediately felt that it was no longer the school of horror of the second half of the ’70s. A kind of freezing had begun, which after the death of General Enver Hoxha, became even more sensitive. Yet it remained a school of daily dogma and folly, where rejection after every kind of subjective expression was on the agenda. If I had not recently met Gim Rada, the bohemian street sculptor of Tirana, I would probably have lost the first years of school, trying to reconcile my unbridled worship of the forbidden prophets of the historical avant-garde of our century , with my convictions, up to that deeply communist, and moreover, who knows when I would have enjoyed the magic of wandering through the night. But that fate did not allow me to try for long, to reconcile two things that were unlikely to be reconciled, and pushed me towards those ponds full of alcohol and light in the damp garden of Bar Sahati, where the bohemian projected and overturned the truths of the day, rolling the doubles of juniper brandy fernet ”.
He called you bohemian…?
Yes, I continue to be like that, yes bohemians are usually dressed in rags, but there are also pretend bohemians who are not artists, but are removed as artists. And if you look at the bow, they have it as great artists, like throwing some scarves, like making some long overcoats, they generally do it to look good, but bohemian is in the soul, it is not from the outside. I am one of those who have had it and I have the courage to say things as they are, because I think this life, this segment of light that has been given to us, to waste it, to pass it for bad, lake, servile, etc. I said, that anyone can think that I am an old friend of the Prime Minister, not at all. I just have a salary, I have a job, which is within my craft, in that studio I think as much as I have the spirit to create for my country, I will work. I told you that the clergyman of Shkodra, I said goodbye, I gave him without any money, and I have never benefited from these recognitions, from these opportunities, never. I asked the Prime Minister only one thing: to let me work for my country, to let me rest. So far, I am working. I say so, oh god give me health and strength to work. Not health to vegetate, but health to work to realize my dreams. My work studio is my Mecca. Many people make fun of me and think about me why this man is neither with the PD, nor with the SP, nor with the SMI, who is this with?! Because they like that a man should be with a party, to definitely get into a trench. Because you were getting into a trench, you secured things. I told you that following the Prime Minister’s friend and so on, I have totally left them. As far as I can tell, it’s good that I have 30 years without meeting and drinking coffee with today’s prime minister. Ever since he entered that path, I have no connection at all, it is his choice, I have my choice. I do my best for myself and I wish him to do his best for this country as well, as I want to do my best in my own way.
Gimo do you have any immediate plans…?
I have many plans, that sculpture is not like painting, sculpture loves physical. Those monuments you saw there are from 5-6 meters and I go up and down from there several times a day through the scaffolding and that thing loves physical. I am just like a construction worker, immersed in plaster upside down. I would like God to give me the strength to keep working to fulfill my jobs and dreams.
And we wish you as much success as possible.
Thank you and you for giving me this opportunity to express this in your studio.