Adrian Paci “Thy Glory Was Made of Sun”at kaufmann repetto, Milan
“Taking advantage of the dual structure of the space, two large mosaics occupy the front walls of the gallery: Other groups of drawings have been placed around these two main works. It is perceivable in both the mosaics and the drawings, the dialogue and the contrast with an artistic vision that comes from two main sources: On one side there are memorabilia from Adrian Paci’s personal archive, and on the other side, there are references to authorial’s sources dear to the artist. The archival sources come from television news or scenes that have been “stolen” from Youtube. There are kids, images of swimmers and soldiers: Young cocky militants busy in bravery tests, bruised figures that challenge one another in insidious and deadly games.
There are, amongst the drawings, references to films like “The Color of Pomegranates” by Sergei Parajanov inspired to the life of the Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, but also to directors such as Jarman and Pasolini. These images, isolated from their context, lose the connections to the language of film, becoming painterly, just like the found images. At a certain point the stories within the mosaics melt: Play becomes ceremony and the smug vitality of the subjects petrifies in a stylite manner.
The technique of the mosaic itself, in its very essence, reveals the nature of Adrian Paci’s work: Dust and soil, often narrated in his drawings, are made into plaster. The artist uses different types of marble to translate the nature of the events in an epic form. Stones narrate well and, through images, protect like amulets: They hold good fortune, become ornament and blessing.
The journey, narrated more than once in previous works by Adrian Paci, finds its material form in the mosaic, whose built is cohabited by several historical, geographical and narrative layers. One of the two mosaics depicts the mowing of the weeds, that season after season grow onto the roof of the Armenian monastery of Haghpat narrated in Parajanov’s movie, with the mowers lined up on the roof and the figure of the poet visible down below.
Other drawings are more liquid: Children swimming or groups of bathers that, like human herds, dwell close by the water. They are figures in transit, often illuminated by a meridian light with no shelter. Here Adrian Paci enacts a real despoliation, taking away from the color its joyous hue and making it dry, engraving with more strength only the major lines, abstaining from details. The result is a scorching vision, an essential look on human nature.”
until 8 November 2014
A braccia aperte, 2014
Il riposo, 2014
I tre uomini, 2014
Il riposo, 2014
Il salto, 2014
Adrian Paci, “Thy Glory Was Made of Sun”installation views at kaufmann repetto, Milan, 2014
Courtesy: the artist and kaufmann repetto, Milano/New York. Photos: Roberto Marossi.