Anri Sala



28 November – 13 January 02


As part of the accompanying program of the exhibition Verbrechen der Wehrmacht., Dimensionen des Vernichtungskrieges 1941–1944, KW Institute for Contemporary Art shows from November 28, 2001 to January 13, 2002, the video work Nocturne of the young Albanian artist Anri Sala.

Nocturne, a 16mm film, shot in Lille in 1999, is the portrait of two men, their life stories and experiences. The two men do not know each other and have never met. In the film, however, their two dissimilar biographies are juxtaposed in such a way that similarities and parallels become perceptible. Denis, a young French mercenary soldier who has recently returned from the Balkans, speaks with alarming openness about his brutal training and later role as an assassin expected to spy out and eliminate key military targets. Jacques, the owner of a tropical aquarium and a fanatical fish collector, talks about the harsh reality of his autistic features of life between countless fishes and aquariums and of the everyday constraints of his voluntary / involuntary obsession. By changing from one protagonist to the other, the film illustrates parallel experiences, e.g. the pressure of the social environment and the loneliness, and thus connects two lives that have nothing to do with each other.

Anri Sala (born in 1974, Tirana) has gained international attention in recent years with works such as Intervista (1998), Nocturne (1999), and Uomo (2001). His predominantly cinematic work is characterized by a direct, documentary approach to the mostly biographical stories of his characters. In detailed dialogues, the protagonists become representative case studies, in which hidden meanings, cultural connections and constraints become recognizable. Using the documentary potential of the media film, video and photography, Sala creates detailed sketches of people in their geographic, historical, social and political contexts.