Cory William Berlekamp
The work of international visual artist and Kosovan Burim Myftiu will be on display at the Dudley and Mary Marks Lea gallery at the University of Findlay from Sept. 24 to Oct. 20 with the exhibit opening on Oct. 3.
The exhibition on display is Myftiu’s photo series “TRANCE” which focuses on the Islamic tradition of the Dervish ritual. Dervish which is ritual that is rarely photographed was captured by Myftiu.
In an email sent out by Andrew du Fresne, the curator of the exhibit and the person responsible for bringing in the project, Myftiu explained what the project was.
“Kosovo is multi-national and multi-confessional country. After the war I started photographing the religions and rituals in Kosovo. ‘TRANCE’ is a part of a long term project called: ‘RITUALS’. ‘TRANCE’ is about Sufi rituals, their Philosophy, State of Mind and Trance,” said Myftiu.
The exhibition came about from when du Fresne visited Kosovo in 2017 to film and write about his experiences there. According to du Fresne, that is where he and Myftiu met. Myftiu was his interpreter under the recommendation of Colonel Joel Hagy, second in command at the U.S. army base Camp Bondsteel where du Fresne was visiting.
After visiting different memorials throughout Kosovo, the patrol du Fresne was on took him to Prizren where Myftiu was from. There they had dinner and began talking about mutual interests in the field of photography and film.
“We were just talking about art and what I did at the university (of Findlay) and he was talking about his photography,” said du Fresne. “I was like ‘Hey, what do you think about coming to the university and doing an exhibit there?’.”
Myftiu agreed and du Fresne started making phone calls to Spencer Cunningham, Instructor of Art and Photography, and others that work in the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion.
“It kind of came to fruition pretty fast and he sent his art over, it was simple,” said du Fresne. “I just thought let’s talk about something different and show (the students) what different cultures were like.”
The series is 20 contemporary photographs and has never been on display in America before. The Lea gallery can be found in the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion. The gallery hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily during scheduled exhibitions and all exhibitions are free and open to the public.