Magazine article Artforum International

Adrian Paci: Galleria Francesca Kaufmann. (Milan)

Magazine article Artforum International

Adrian Paci: Galleria Francesca Kaufmann. (Milan)

Article excerpt

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.

Adrian Paci's videos concern the emotional nature of origins. An Albanian, he has lived in Italy for five years but has maintained, both conceptually and sentimentally, his primary ties of family, friends, and culture. In his earlier works Albanian Stories, 1997, and Apparizione (Apparition), 2000, he focused on generational relationships. In the former his young daughter recited fairy tales, and allusions to real war were mixed with a battle played out by toys. In Piktori, 2002, Paci told the story of a painter friend who lives in Albania and reproduces famous paintings, forges diplomas and death certificates, and designs shop signs. We see him from the back, enveloped in cigarette smoke, while in a warm and confidential tone he tells about his life as a forger. As proof of their friendship, he drew up a death certificate for Paci.

Now, in Vajtojca (Mourner), 2002, projected on a large screen, Paci enacts his own death. He stages it where he was born, in the city of Shkoder as if this appointment, which no one can avoid, has to be experienced in congruity with his origins. It happens when he arrives at the house of an Albanian woman who works as a professional mourner. Paci, wearing a dark suit, stretches out on a bed and becomes progressively rigid. The woman sirs down next to him and chants a lament that incorporates the grief of his wife, the tears of his daughters, and the pain of exile. …

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