Goings on About Town: Adrian Paci

The New Yorker
December 10, 2007

The Albanian artist is ubiquitous these days, with work in “Senso Unico,” at P.S. 1, and two solo shows (here and at Peter Blum in Chelsea). His themes are diaspora and absurd existential predicaments. In this single-channel video, men and women, with impassive expressions on their dark faces and brand-name logos on their worn shirts and caps, cross the tarmac to climb an airplane’s roll-away stair; the camera pulls back to show them poised to step into empty space. At Blum, scenes from an Albanian wedding frescoed on freestanding, faux-old walls are less than compelling, but a black-humored video is haunting. In it, a young man in a suit (Paci himself) meets an old woman at a rural house. He lies down on a bier, and she commences a song of ritual weeping; when she finishes, the “corpse” rises to shake his mourner’s hand. Through Dec. 22. (Smith-Stewart, 53 Stanton St. 212-477-2821.)