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Adrian Paci

Adrian Paci: Per Speculum

1 February – 7 April 2012

Max Delany

A profoundly thought-provoking 35mm film installation, Adrian Paci’s Per Speculum draws upon cinema and myth to reflect upon narratives of exile, flight and resistance. In the opening scenes, a group of children are presented in an idyllic landscape setting, the reality of which is suddenly shattered and fractured, destabilising our perception and perspective.

The second half of the film sees the community of child actors congregate in a majestic tree. With the impenetrable wisdom and insouciance of youth, they reflect the sun’s rays back towards the camera, blinding us in the process. As flashes of light rhyme with the clapping of the projector, the strobing, flickering effect is definitional of cinema, whilst evoking universal themes found in classical art through complex visual phenomena and allegory.

Originally a painter, Adrian Paci works in film, photography, sculpture and installation. Having fled his homeland Albania in 1997 during the civil war, his practice regularly explores the experience of exile and immigration. Paci addresses themes such as mobility, displacement, globalisation and cultural identity as a way to explore how personal histories are defined by social and political circumstances. His works are both private and universal, and present a complex synthesis of autobiography and collective narrative, documentation and dramatisation, fiction and reality.

Paci was born in Shkoder, Albania in 1969 and studied at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, Albania. He currently lives and works in Milan, Italy. Paci has held numerous individual exhibitions including shows at Istanbul Modern 2010; Kunsthaus Zurich 2010; Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv 2008; Kunstverein Hannover 2008; Milton Keyes Gallery, UK 2007; P.S.1, New York 2005; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston 2005; Baltic Art Center, Sweden 2003; and Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy 2003.

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Adrian Paci: Per Speculum

Image: Adrian Paci, Per Speculum 2006, 35mm film (still), 7:10 min. Courtesy Kaufmann Repetto, Milan