exhibition by Adrian Paci

    BAK, Utrecht (NL)

    In the work of Adrian Paci (paintings, drawings, photographs, videos, and installations), the social reality of Albania plays a central role. Paci’s work deals with the radical changes of the country since the fall of communism in 1991, and his own experiences as an immigrant. He moves back and forth between the autobiographical, personal story and the larger collective narrative. Paci shows how identity is formed and conditioned by social and political circumstances, and how one attempts to relate to this situation as an individual, a citizen, and an artist.

    In the exhibition four video works are presented. In Turn On (2004) Paci shows a group of unemployed men who provide light in the dark streets by using generators. It is a metaphorical film that in a subtle yet critical way addresses contemporary conditions in Albania. In the video Albanian Stories (1997) the artist films his daughter Jolanda reciting fairy tales to her dolls. The story begins like any typical child’s tale, but when actual facts about the conflict situation in Albania emerge from Jolanda’s imaginative narrative, we realize that something more complex is going on. In his most recent video Klodi (2005), Paci deals with the widespread phenomenon of illegal immigration—which we read about in the newspapers every day—making it personal and intimate. In the video Piktori (2002) the artist’s position in society and the notion of art is called into question.

    The analysis offered by Paci’s work is imbued with political urgency and emphasizes the profound discrepancies in individual agency, freedom, and opportunity worldwide. His work is a reminder of the fact that our individual possibilities are not just a matter of personal preferences and choices, but rather are molded by broader political and social settings.