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Adrian Paci | Albania

Britma, 2009

Rear Projection Video
Edition of 6, 2APs
5.18 minutes, loop

Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York

Britma (Scream) 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.

Britma means "scream" and refers to Edvard Munch's famously iconic painting. Paci's video features two children, obviously excited. One of the children seems to be screaming. He holds a stone in his hand, ready to be thrown. But the blurriness of the shot makes a clear understanding of the context impossible. Is it one of so many images from crisis areas, where children throw stones at soldiers? Paci leaves the question unanswered. In extreme slow-motion the image changes almost imperceptibly.

Only those who watch closely notice that with time the blurriness increases and the face of the child begins to approximate Munch's Scream, until it dissolves into a totally abstract color landscape of digital brush strokes.

There is a significant crossover between the cinematic aura of Paci's paintings and the pictorial tempo of his videos, wherein the artist fully reveals his talent as a painter.