PRINT January 2001

Hans-Ulrich Obrist

ANRI SALA, A YOUNG ALBANIAN FILMMAKER, KEEPS surprising us with his mysterious, deeply personal yet insistently political films and videos. Intervista—Finding the Words, 1998, which I first saw in Stockholm early last year at the Moderna Museet’s survey “After the Wall: Art and Culture in Post-Communist Europe,” takes as its point of departure Sala’s accidental discovery of documentary footage from the late ’70s of his mother’s official trip to Germany as an activist in the Albanian Youth Communist Union. The black-and-white film captures the artist’s mother at rallies and award ceremonies as well as giving an interview, but the accompanying sound track has been lost. Hoping to reconstitute the missing dialogue, Sala tried in vain to dig up transcripts of the interview. Finally, a lip reader was able to resuscitate the mother’s youthful voice. “Twenty years later, my mother has to

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