Anri Sala represents a truly contemporary international vision: working in a range of media including video, photography and installation, Sala was educated in Albania and France, but now lives and works in Berlin. In his films and installations, Sala invites viewers to participate in his world of cultural observation, for which he often uses socio-political settings and personal experiences as backdrops.Read More
By juxtaposing elements of past and present, discordance and harmony, and by overlapping narrative, sound and movement, Sala creates a unique sensibility. With his first critically acclaimed experimental documentary Intervista (Finding the words) from 1998, the artist formulates his interest in perception of reality, truth and historical transformation. Since then, his practice emerged into a study of sound–soundtracks of images, the absence of sound, or the failure of verbal communication, all form distinct kinds of narratives.
In 2001, Sala was the recipient of the Young Artist Prize at the Venice Biennale and in 2013, he exhibited his acclaimed video works Ravel Ravel and Unravel (both 2013) for the French Pavilion. Both works analyse the perception of space through music– two versions of Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left hand in D-major can be seen performed alongside each other. Unravel sets out to sync what deliberately was paced out of sync; Chloé, a DJ and music producer, can be observed standing in the middle of the German pavilion trying to untangle what has been entangled in Ravel Ravel.
The undercurrent of Sala's projects, such as Intervista (Finding Words) or Ravel Ravel Unravel, is a fundamentally personal exploration of intimate, interwoven stories, resonating themes of a changing society and the individual. The artist's interest in transition and rupture is demonstrated by the way in which he relates language, sound, music. The impact of his work featured at the world's top venues and exhibitions endorses Sala's conviction that art can transcend cultural references without losing any of its specificity, nor indeed, its power.
Text courtesy Hauser & Wirth.