Sylvielin's Blog

Interview with Anri Sala

Posted in Interviews with Artists by sylvielin on May 3, 2010


‘Long Sorrow’, video installation by Anri Sala. Courtesy : Galerie Chantal Crousel.

“I am interested in things told through images but not always through languages. I tend to replace language as the most popular means of telling. When images tell things, they can always keep an ambiguity. I am also interested in how music can be narrative. It has a way of dealing with meaning which differs from that of language. Music can resist meaning.”
—- Anri Sala (extract from the interview)

〔Extract from the original text〕

Q  At first you did painting when studying art in Albania.
A  In the high school I did painting and drawing, and then fresco in the academy. Actually, around the age of ten, I started serious painting with elder friends who were students of art academy. I said “serious with painting” because at the time in Albania, only registered artist or art student would get oil colors. A kid could only use watercolors or oil pastels. At that age one could paint quite freely. But when I went to school, certain painting styles became forbidden, like all art from post-impressionism and onbeside social realism. Since there was no space for big gestures, we could easily end up being similar. So I was very attentive to the details in painting. It was the only way to distinguish my work from the others’.
While painting, we observed the surroundings attentively : you looked at a tree or an apple and drew in a unique manner. It wasn’t political, but visual. In my early twenties, magazines and books started entering the country. Suddenly, everything was possible. It was almost a ridiculous period : people started to paint like expressionist or surrealistic without a thoughtful understanding, just to show they could do what had been forbidden. This short transitional period seems to me as dangerous as the all years of dictatorship in terms of understanding yourself as an artist.

(Interview made in 2006 in Paris for the exhibition Altered State curated by Amy Cheng held in Taipei.)

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4 Responses

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  1. annhowington said, on May 6, 2012 at 2:33 am

    “For example in Tirana where I was born, it’s not only a political mess but also a mess of buildings and architecture.” I am using this quote in a paper.

    • sylvielin said, on December 9, 2012 at 4:15 am

      Dear Ms. Ann Howington,

      Thank you for quoting from my interview with Sala.
      I published some more interview recently and they’re also related to social-political issues. You’re welcome to check them.

      Sincerely, Sylvie Lin

  2. […] Interview with Anri Sala […]

    • sylvielin said, on December 9, 2012 at 4:14 am

      Thanks for the re-publication. I published some more interviews recently; you’re welcome to check them.

      Sincerely, Sylvie Lin

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