Friday, August 1, 2014

Guest Star Friday #138…Adrian Paci

Last Gestures

April 1, 2014 was a really good day, one of those days that unfolds in the most natural, wonderful way. It did not start out that way, though. I was in Gothenburg, Sweden for my exhibition and feeling stressed. Jet-lag was taking its toll, I was struggling with a new piece for the opening, and I was trying to maneuver in an expensive city on very little money. I knew a good, long walk would make everything better so I left my hostel to find the place where the river meets the sea, marked by a suspension bridge and the contemporary art museum, Röda Sten konsthall. This is when things got so much better… The weather was beautiful and I saw many interesting things along the way. When I got to the museum I was delighted to discover it was free that day! I had a lovely talk with one of the staff members and then slowly moved my way through the museum, and things got even better. 

The main exhibition, "Of Lives and Tales," was a retrospective of Adrian Paci, an Albanian artist I had not heard of before. Paci's work includes installation, video, photography and painting and focuses on memory, loss, nostalgia and displacement. I was drawn to his work immediately and had powerful, emotional reactions to many of his works. I found "Last Gestures," in particular, to be very compelling. The piece is composed of four televisions that loop video images of movements and expressions made by a family as they spend a precious last moment together. There is no sound and your attention becomes focused on singular movements. The work is poetic and succinct and I cried as I sat alone in the dark. 

As I spent time with the other pieces in the exhibition I become increasingly excited to find an artist working with things I'm just beginning to discover my own interest in: the use of light and shadow, conveying complex narrative and emotion through simple visuals and the impact of using the human experience as a way to connect artist and viewer. 

Britma, 2009, color video still

Back Home #2, 2001, painting and photograph

Noise of Light, 2005 installation with 10 transformers, metal, crystal, bulbs

See more of my favorite Adrian Paci pieces on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading.

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