Scratchy, grainy images carry us across land and time; first with black & white footage, and then with color footage. This work is not about the ones who have passed away, it is about the living. Paci’s work shows us faces of people in mourning, faces of people grieving in public; one face is followed by the other as tears are shed one after another. The pain and suffering of loss is the only thing that links these individuals. Interregnum offers an uninterrupted survey of death rituals within different cultures, social classes and religious groups. This survey spans across Asia to Europe geographically and the duration of the twentieth century. His video is a re-configuration of restored footage from official state and national television broadcast archives. What does grieving in public mean? How is the performance of this grief enacted and how does it affect societies? How does the absence of the deceased continue to linger within the community left behind?
When one of those suffers or dies who have made him lose everything, who have sacked his town, massacred his people before his eyes, only then does the slave weep. Naturally, for only then are tears permitted him, even required of him. But in slavery, are not tears ready to flow as soon as they may do so with impunity? [1.]
Oscillating between stoicism and instances of sobbing beyond control, there is an almost imperceptible shift of authentic agony in these performances. As the close-ups and intense expressions of persons follow one another, the individual faces come together to form families, communities, crowds, and finally they lose their distinctive features as they become a part of the masses. Interregnum envelops the viewer in a fog of potential empathy, while at the same time in critical reflection.
Adrian Paci was born in 1969 in Shkoder, Albania. Throughout his career he held numerous solo shows in various international art institutions such as: MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2015);Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway (2014); Röda Sten Konsthall, Goteborg (2014); MAC, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (2014); Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC), Milan (2014); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2013); National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtina (2012); Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich (2010); Bloomberg Space, London(2010); The Center for Contemporary Art CCA, Tel Aviv (2009); Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund (2007); MoMA PS1, New York (2006) and Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2005). Among the various group shows, Adrian Paci’s work has also been featured in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition-La Biennale di Venezia (2014); 48th and the 51st edition of the International Art Exhibition-La Biennale di Venezia (respectively in 1999 and in 2005); 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006); 15th Quadriennale di Roma, where he won first prize (2008); Biennale de Lyon (2009); and in the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013). He has recently received the Art for Peace Award (2016).
- The Iliad or the Poem of Force, Simone Weil
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