International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2014

Adrian Paci: Lives in Transit
Musée d’art contemporain, Montréal (Canada)
06.02 - 27.04.2014



Press release

The 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, Musée d’art contemporain, Montréal

Exhibition 6 February - 27 April 2014. Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 185 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest - Montréal (Québec) H2X 3X5 (Canada). Tel.: 514 847 62 26. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm, Wednesday 11:00am-9:00pm.

Adrian Paci: Lives in Transit

This show featuring works produced since the late 1990s provides a sense of the great humanity that characterizes the art of Adrian Paci. Through the tensions he introduces in these pieces between the real and the fictional, tangible and political, conflictual and fabulous, he applies a present-day sensibility to overarching themes that have been present throughout time, such as identity, memory, ritual and loss. In creating narratives where much remains unsaid, he invites us to become personally engaged in his work and to fill in the spaces left blank.

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 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.

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2014. All Rights Reserved

Adrian Paci, The Column (still), 2013. HD video projection, colour, sound, 25:40 minutes. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich and kaufmann repetto, Milan. Produced with the contribution of Jeu de Paume, Paris; PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim; Röda Sten Konsthall, Göteborg; NCTM studio legale associato, Milan; and Unicredit, Milan.