The work of Adrian Paci (b. 1969, Albania) underlines one of the paradoxes of human intelligence, which consists of becoming aware of reality through unreality. Often inspired by subjects close to him and stories arising from his everyday life, Adrian Paci lets them slide poetically towards a fiction, which in its turn creates wider realities. The exhibition at the Jeu de Paume gathers extremely diverse works (videos, installations, paintings, photographs and sculptures) made since 1997 and shows the numerous interconnections that operate between these different media and means of expression.
In 1997, Adrian Paci escaped violent riots in Albania to take refuge, with his family, in Italy. On his arrival in the country, he temporarily abandoned painting and sculpture in favor of video, thus exploring new cinematic languages. His experience of exile, the shock of separation and adaptation to a new place defined the context of his first videos, through which he attempted to discover the roots of his past.
“Being at a crossroads, at the frontier of two separate identities, underlies all my films.” (Adrian Paci)
Gradually, Adrian Paci has distanced himself from his personal experience to treat collective history, in projects that emphasize the consequences of conflicts and social revolutions, revealing how identity is conditioned by the socio-economic context. Working with non-professional actors, men and women in difficulty, he explores many of the existential and social issues of our times, such as migration, loss, displacement, globalization, nostalgia and memory.
Along with a selection of early works (including Albanian Stories, 1997; Home to go, 2001; Piktori, 2002; Vajtojca, 2002), the exhibition Adrian Paci. Lives In Transit presents recent pieces, including The Encounter (2011), Inside the Circle (2011) and The Column (2013), a project created specifically for this show.
After representing Albania at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and exhibiting at MoMa PS1 in New York in 2005, Adrian Paci has been the subject of many solo exhibitions: Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Kunstverein in Hanover, Tel Aviv contemporary art centre, Bloomberg Space in London and Kunsthaus Zurich. He has been featured in numerous group shows, including at the Tate Modern, London (2008) and Maxxi, Rome (2011). He has taken part in Manifesta 3 in Ljubljana (2000), Venice Biennale (2005), Lyon Biennial and Havana Biennial (2011).
Curators: Adrian Paci, Marta Gili and Marie Fraser
Exhibition co-produced by the Jeu de Paume, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art and the PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milano.
Also at the Jeu de Paume until 12 May: Laure Albin Guillot (1879–1962), The Question of Classicism and A Spoken Word Exhibition from the “Suite for Exhibition(s) and Publication(s)”, first movement, a proposal by Mathieu Copeland.
The Jeu de Paume is subsidized by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
It is supported by Neuflize Vie, its principal partner.
Adrian Paci, The Column, 2013. Video, color, sound, 25 feet by 40 inches. Coproduced by the Jeu de Paume, Paris; Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim; PAC Padiglione dell’Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Roda Sten, Göteborg; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; NCTM e Arte, Milan; Unicredit Bank, Milan; TICA, Tirana; and Vulcano, Venice. Image © Adrian Paci, 2013.