New York

Adrian Paci

Peter Blum/Smith-Steward

As befits an artist whose themes are displacement and memory, Adrian Paci’s recent New York gallery debut spanned two venues. One piece—a video made in 2002—had been seen in the city before. Another—a video from 2007—hinges on a trick that colors subsequent viewings. If one demands surprise, then, there were issues with the shows. But work concerned with the compulsion to revisit a vanished past, or to posit an impossible future, itself implies repetition.

Shown at Peter Blum, the earlier video is Vajtojca (The Weeper). Paci shot it in Albania, which he left for Milan during the Kosovo war in 1997. We meet the vajtojca, a middle-aged woman in a head scarf, as she admits Paci to a leafy courtyard. The scene is redolent of another century, though the artist wears jeans and sneakers. Upstairs, the woman spreads a sheet on a divan while he dons a suit, as if they were preparing for an odd tryst.

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