Flaviu Rogojan
lives and works in Cluj, Romania
Research trip to Sazan, an abandoned island city on the Albanian coast, geopolitically caught in limbo between its complex military history and potential touristic future.

Artists in residence discussing reading material, in the restaurant of the empty seaside hotel, that was turned into a working space for artists in the off season.
I am one of the co-curators and co-founders of Off Season. Off Season is a pilot residency programme that invites contemporary artists to live and work at the seaside, in areas usually thought of as one-dimensional tourist hotspots.

For the first edition, five international artists working in different mediums, from visual arts to film to writing to sound spent three weeks in a small tourist resort, in October 2020, a period outside of the tourist season, during which the small village and sea side were free from tourists and tourism-oriented activity. The residency project aimed to bring new artistic perspectives into this location, facilitating artists’ research and dialogue with the
current and historical context of the resort.

Using the metaphor of an imagined tourist agency, the project uses the language of tourism critically. The research process and residency outcomes are presented online and offline in the frame of “exhibitions as Tourist Agencies” in the partners’ cities. The exhibitions were organized in Autumn 2021 in Tirana, Albania and Bucharest, and Cluj in Romania, and was part of Manifesta 14 in Pristina, Kosovo in 2022.

Off Season is organized by an interdisciplinary collective of curators, cultural managers and architects from Romania, Albania and Kosovo. We have been collaborating since 2019 to produce exhibitions and residencies for contemporary artists, on topics such as historical enquiry, critical tourism, research and production in the complex geopolitical context of the Albanian seaside resorts.


Image from the Off Season exhibition in Cluj

The pilot edition of the residency hosted residents:

Brigita Antoni

Anna Baranowski

Valentina Bonizzi

Vlad Brăteanu

Ioana Vreme Moser


Off Season Tourism Agency Tirana
15. 10. 2021 - 07. 11. 2021
Bulevard Art and Media Institute
Tirana, Albania

Off Season Tourism Agency Bucharest
17. 11. 2021 - 27. 11. 2021
Goethe Institut
Bucharest, Romania

Off Season Tourism Agency Cluj
23. 02. 2022 - 27. 02. 2022
Casa Tranzit
Cluj, Romania

Off Season Tourism Agency at Manifesta 14
22. 07. 2022 - 30. 10. 2022
Manifesta 14
Pristina, Kosovo

Using the metaphor of an imagined travel agency, the Off Season Tourism Agency employs the language of tourism critically, to produce and showcase new works of contemporary art inspired by the dichotomous nature of tourism.

Off Season is a residency programme that invites contemporary artists to live and work at the seaside, in areas usually thought of as one-dimensional tourist hotspots. We invite artists to rethink touristic phenomena and produce works that bring into question the narratives that come to dominate the seaside, as the Albanian coast develops and becomes increasingly welcoming to international tourism.

The pilot edition of the research residency took place in Radhima, Vlora in the off season in October 2020, against a backdrop of a multitude of changes in how tourism functions; faced with big changes in tourist flows and travel possibilities, but also within the context of a long term transformation in the landscape of the Albanian seaside. As more investments transform the coast to a space of hospitality, we asked ourselves which histories and local narratives are passed on to new guests? With the promise of a prosperous future in the hospitality economy, how does the past inform the transition of these territories with complex layered histories? How do the movements of people and tourist flows affect the ecology of the land and sea, and the ecology of images? Which idealised images of the Albanian coast build up the welcoming scenery, what is authentic and what is undesirable, what will become touristical canon?

A group of five international artists working in different mediums, from visual arts to film to sound, spent three weeks in the small seaside resort in Radhima. The travelling exhibition showcases new works produced over the course of a year, as result of the research conducted in Albania.

Off Season Artist Residency is organised by Dan Angelescu, Donika Çina, Bianca Oana, Flaviu Rogojan, Elian Stefa, through Galeria e Bregdetit, Manekino Cultural Association and Young Actions and Abstractions.

Visual identity: Gabriel Barbu / Graphic design: Sebastian Danciu

The project is supported by Goethe-Institut Bucharest, as a collaboration born out of the Goethe-Institut’s Cultural Management Academy in 2019 that brought together organizations and curators from Albania and Romania.

Cultural project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund (AFCN) Romania.