Anri Sala

Johnen + Schöttle

Anri Sala’s video Byrek, 2000—named after a traditional Albanian salted pastry—shows the hands and forearms of an elderly woman kneading a batch of dough with the precise motions of a much-practiced routine. She rolls the dough out until it is very thin; it occupies nearly the whole screen. She then fills it with cheese, meat, and spinach, rolls it into a spiral shape, and finally places it inside a round baking pan. The camera follows this procedure from a single angle, only occasionally turning toward the window as an airplane makes its track across the sky. The woman’s wordless, ritual-like action is accompanied by the banging of kitchen utensils and disturbed only by the engine noise of the approaching and disappearing airplanes.

The Tiranë-born Sala first drew international attention with his video installation Intervista—Finding the Words, 1998, in “After the Wall: Art and Culture in

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