|Adrian Paci: Lives in Transit
February 6–April 27, 2014Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
185, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal (Québec) H2X 3X5
|Curators: Adrian Paci; Marie Fraser, guest curator; and Marta Gili, Director of the Jeu de PaumeThe Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is starting the year off with a Québec and Canadian first: the exhibition Adrian Paci: Lives in Transit. To introduce the public to the work of this well-known Albanian-born artist who has lived in Milan since 1997, the MAC is presenting a selection of his most important pieces since the late 1990s. Comprising video works and installations, as well as sculptures and paintings, this solo show will run from February 6 to April 27.
Adrian Paci: Lives in Transit
Speaking about his work, the artist recently told the newspaper Libération, “I think every piece arises out of a desire to build a bridge between what you have already done and a territory you are discovering. An artist’s body of work is a living body that needs to grow, to develop. Mounting an exhibition like this one is thus an opportunity to consider this body in its complexity and try to understand its moods, its needs, its forms and its weaknesses.”
The work that brought Paci widespread public recognition, Home to Go (2001), is a marble montage of the artist’s naked body carrying a ceramic-tiled roof strapped to his back; this emblematic piece speaks of dislocation, identity and hybridity. In Vajtojca (Mourner, 2002), which depicts a funeral wake, Paci makes himself the subject of an elegy whose powerful, stirring words are sung by a professional mourner. The Encounter (2011) takes place in Sicily, in front of the church of San Bartolomeo, where hundreds of people are lined up to shake the artist’s hand, in a personal encounter between the individual and the collectivity. The Column (2013), the artist’s latest video, produced specially for the exhibition, documents the fascinating sea voyage of a “factory boat” that left China loaded with a block of marble that would be carved on the voyage by five Chinese craftsmen and would reach its destination…in the form of a column. The video installation titled Last Gestures (2009) poetically and eloquently evokes a bride-to-be’s final moments with her family. This work was purchased by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2011, with support from the National Bank Private Wealth 1859 Collectors Symposium 2011. In Albanian Stories (1997), the artist’s first video, Paci captures his three-year-old daughter telling her dolls fairytales the way all little girls do, but with the difference that hers mix up animals, fictional characters and actual soldiers, bearing poignant and unique testimony to war and exile. In these pieces and the others on view, the intersection of reality and fable creates an in-between space that opens up onto the universal.
Adrian Paci: Lives in Transit is a co-production of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Jeu de Paume, Paris, and PAC – Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan.
Born in 1969 in Shkodër, Albania, Adrian Paci left Eastern Europe with his family after the collapse of the Communist regime. He represented Albania at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and has taken part in numerous group exhibitions and solo shows over the years.
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