Adrian Paci


Adrian Paci creates the two pieces titled Brothers following a method common in his practice: that of isolating a frame from one of the many archive videos he collects – clips of ceremonies or everyday life from his home country, Albania.

The extracted fragment is re-presented through an expressive medium entirely different from the original one. Brothers takes the form of a mosaic – an ancient technique, today almost obsolete. The work is highly codified, the possibility of expressive detail is limited, and the inherent dynamism and fleeting nature of the video image appears frozen, substituted instead with materiality and a sense of temporal dilatation and unnatural stillness. The result is an enigmatic image, in which a simple gesture transmits a sense of intimacy, but also acquires intensity, monumentality, absoluteness.

The work is born out of Paci’s interest in the countless interpretative possibilities in which any image is a vehicle.

In Brothers, as in the whole “Passages” series, of which these pieces are part, Paci reveals his attention toward contingency, the interest in the symbolic value of the gesture and a reflexivity that originates from a deep awareness of art history and the culture hidden behind each image.

Through his work, Paci reflects the strong changes of our times: he talks about travelling and moving along, global orientation, and the intercultural dynamics affecting us all.

The column is a project Paci has been working on for a long time, it consists of a video and a series of photographs representing the sea journey of a block of marble that, after being extracted from a Chinese quarry, is carried on a cargo ship and then carved on a board until being transformed into a classical-style column.

In the work, the theme of travel is thus associated with the expanded economic strategies pursued by our society. The column relates to commercial traffics and factory-ships, the sense of work, and the value of classical culture, represented in one of its most emblematic elements: the column. The anecdotal element is, however, removed from the artwork, which ultimately carries strong metaphorical value.


Gabi Scardi, curator and art critic based in Milan (translation in English: Ludovica Capobiano).


b. 1969, Shkoder, Albania

Graduated from the Academy of Art of Tirana and in 1997 he moved to Milan where he lives and works. Paci is one of the most active artists of the international contemporary art scene. Over his career he held various solo shows such as: Jeu de Paume, Paris (2013) • National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtina (2012) • Istanbul Modern • Bloomberg Space, London (2010) • CCA, Tel Aviv (2009) • P.S.1, New York (2007). His works were presented in many group exhibitions: MAXXI, Rome • Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany • Museum of the Seam, Jerusalem • The National Museum of Art, Oslo • Tate Modern, London • Power Plant, Toronto • Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, among others. He has also taken part in prestigious contemporary art exhibitions including: Manifesta (2000) • Venice Biennial (1999, 2005) • Sydney Biennial (2006) • Quadriennale di Roma (2008), in which he won the first price • Lyon Biennial (2009). Among his future projects, he will exhibit in different solo shows at PAC in Milan, Musée d’ Art Contemporain in Montréal, Trondheim Museum of Art and at Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg.