Critics’ Picks

Adrian Paci, Britma, 2009, still from a color video, 5 minutes 18 seconds.

New York

Adrian Paci

Peter Blum Gallery
176 Grand Street 2nd Floor
April 2–May 15

Adrian Paci’s latest exhibition, “Gestures,” features Britma, 2009, a video projected in a small room near the gallery’s entrance. The work offers blurry glimpses of two children in a meadow; their actions are nearly imperceptible due to the slowed-down pace of the film. Like Paci’s previous output, the video declares the Albanian artist’s interest in symbolic rituals and the gestures that are exchanged during festivities, but there is no pretense of documenting a specific fact. Instead, Britma presents the vague emotional charge of an abstract and ambiguous sequence, prompted by a fragment of reality.

The crossover between the cinematic aura of his paintings and the pictorial tempo of his videos also continues in the rooms that follow, wherein the artist fully reveals his talent as a painter. In two works both titled Passages, 2010, Paci tackles a large-scale canvas (a wooden wheel on which a sequence unfolds of characters who seem to be shaking hands after the celebration of a ritual) and small-format works (including a diptych on terra-cotta that returns to the motif of the two children). Alongside the portfolio She, 2008, which comprises sixteen prints, and the bronze cast Shoes, 2009, Last Gestures, 2009, a four-screen video installation, evokes the Albanian tradition of a bride saying good-bye to her mother and father during her wedding. The scene once again assumes the characteristic of a sacred ritual, where Paci transforms a private story into a universal condition that serves to underscore the identity of the dislocated individual.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.