A few days in Paris is enough inspiration to last many months. And we made one such trip last week to discover and experience gems like Adrian Paci at Jeu de Paume. Born in Albania, Paci escaped political unrest to live in Milan when he was in his mid twenties. This move had a profound impact on his art, and he started working more with video than the sculpture and painting he had been doing so far.
Titled Vies en Transit or Lives in Transit, this exhibition features 12 video works and a few canvas and photographic pieces by Paci, that give remarkable insight into the myriad forms and reactions to displacement. Tackling the state of being, and the in-betweeness we encounter when grappling with feelings of loss, Paci’s work floats easily between the intelligent, the poetic and the ironic.
One of the interesting works on view – Centro di Permanenza Temporanea (Centre of Temporary Residence), 2007
And a short interview with Paci
One of the best videos of this show is The Column, 2013 that follows a slab of marble on its journey from a quarry in China to its transformation into a smooth, well-shaped pillar by a team of craftsmen working on a humongous cargo ship at sea.
The craftsmen go about their work methodically and very matter of fact. That they are on a moving ship makes little difference to them, and work progresses at lightening speed with little distractions.
The finished column is currently on display outside the gallery, and gives no hint of the long journey and the hours of work it took to get to that very spot. Very much like an artwork.
Other interesting works include The Encounter, 2011 where Paci stands in the square of San Bartolomeo de Scicli church in Noto (Sicily) and shakes hands one by one with a long queue of visitors.
Creating an uncanny theatrical stage, it’s interesting to see how every person has a different encounter with Paci, though they all seem to be doing the same thing – standing in a queue to shake his hand and then follow the person in front of them out of the camera frame. Still, each individual does it differently – some walk slower than others, a few exchange friendly words with Paci, one gentleman even brings out a camera to take a photograph of him.
Definitely an interesting mix of works, and one exhibition I was really hoping to find clips of the works online. But no such luck, which makes it all the more reason to add this one to your must see list.
Adrian Paci – Vies en Transit
Till 12 May 2013
Jeu de Paume