Adrian Paci

October 23, 2005–January 23, 2006

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present the first solo New York museum exhibition of Milan-based, Albanian artist Adrian Paci. This exhibition includes two recent video installations, Apparizione (2000) and Turn On (2004), as well as a new video work, Klodi (2005), produced specifically for P.S.1. This exhibition is on view from October 23, 2005 through January 23, 2006.

Paci's body of work addresses the radical political shifts of his homeland and his experiences as an exile. He reinvented his life after leaving Albania in 1997 when civil war triggered widespread rioting and looting. Fearing for the safety and security of his young family, Paci relocated to Italy. His artistic voice and vision changed as the reality of his experiences at home and abroad. For him, art and life became interchangeable, one flowing into the other. Through his work, Paci inserted himself into social situations, engaging both his private and public life in an effort to discover, or recover, how we live. By creating works situated in the everyday, Paci reveals the ways in which our lives are interconnected and how we are shaped by our environmental boundaries.

Paci's process is a quest to understand his designated "place" in the body politic, as well as what society expects that place to be. Challenging the conditions of his personal history, placing himself in the public domain, or recreating situations as a means to comment on the cruelty, inequity, and the sometimes irrational character of our socio-political circumstances, Paci reveals how identity is shaped and socially conditioned by the global socio-economic apparatus.

In the dual-screen Apparizione, Paci's youngest daughter Tea sings an Albanian song to her relatives back home. They, in turn, respond by completing the verse. This back and forth between Tea and her familial chorus is a moving metaphor that underscores the stinging realties of their geographical separation.

To film Turn On, Paci returned to his birth city of Shkoder. The video opens with a series of close-ups of middle-aged Albanian men. Their faces are worn, weathered and tired. Assembled on public steps in the town square, they sit patiently as if in an interminable state of waiting. Time appears to stand still, save for a constant flow of electricity and bulbs of light symbolizing a city in transition to modernity.

Klodi, produced for this exhibition, is based on a touching, dramatic and at times absurd tale told by Klodi, an Albanian man Paci met. The story, which parallels Paci's own experiences as an emigrant, is told in a thirty-minute video detailing his adventures traversing foreign borders in search of something that in the end becomes almost unattainable.

Adrian Paci was born in 1969 in Shkoder, Albania. His work is included in the 2005 Venice Biennial and a solo exhibition organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas opened in July 2005.


 

Adrian Paci is curated by P.S.1 Curator Amy Smith-Stewart.

In conjunction with the P.S.1 exhibition, Paci will present seven videos at The Museum of Modern Art, as part of its annual series MediaScope, including the New York premiere of pilgrIMAGE (2005); Vajtojca (2002); and Turn On (2004).