Anri Sala was born in 1974, in Tirana, Albania. He belongs to the last generation of artists who grew up under the communist regime in Albania and the first generation to enter into contact with the international art community. After studying painting at the National Academy of Arts, in Tirana he moved to France where he studied videoart and film directing. At the end of the nineties he started making films, videos, pictures and sound installations; since the beginning he has been using a documentary shooting technique, but subjects are on stage and performed, and meticulous attention is paid to images.
In Sala’s videos and pictures specific situations are transformed into poetic moments invested with metaphoric value. A refined look complements a sensitivity for what is disregarded. Works are imbued with a meditative atmosphere and a sense of distance and of bewilderment, of vulnerability, of dismay; we have the feeling of moving in an erratic, semiconscious condition, in a status of psychological interiority and emotional depth. In his photographs the artist com- plies with the same poetics condensing the meaning in one shot or in small series.
His first works are clung to his country of origin and its social and political transformations; they incorporate traces of history, of memory and combine personal hints and references to the history of the country.
From 2000 Sala has almost completely replaced verbal language with sound and music and has concentrated on the relationship among music, image and sound. Narrative has lost its importance in favour of a subjective interpretation of reality and absence has become more and more as meaningful as presence.
- 11 March 2020