Adrian Paci
Albania / Italy
Per Speculum, 2006
Film 35 мм, colour, sound, 06 min 53 sec
Courtesy of the artist and kaufmann repetto, Milano
The name of this work, Per Speculum, has been prompted by the well- known words of Apostle Paul from his First Epistle to the Corinthians: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known". In Christian theology this utterance became an almost canonic definition of the incompleteness of our knowledge about God and the world created by him. It is these words that Ingmar Bergman appealed to in his lm Through A Glass Darkly which is devoted to the idea that a full comprehension of the transcendental is impossible for humans. In his turn Jorge Luis Borges interpreted Apostle Paul's words not so much transcendentally as epistemologically. In his story The Mirror and the Mask Borges gives a number of possible, and often contradictory, interpretations of Apostle Paul's words from his Epistle to the Corinthians, all in order to conclude in the end that "no man knows what he is in reality... No one can illustrate this sacred blindness better than the man himself".

As for Adrian Paci, he treats the fact that man is originally doomed to blindness as something not at all metaphorical but almost literal. The focus of his interest is not so much the incompleteness of man's conceptual knowledge as our artistic comprehension. As his lm unfolds we witness how the seemingly authentic reality transforms into a mirror reflection, and what appears as an integral picture turns out to be a fragment which falls into further fragments. It follows from the above that any artistic image carries a trauma within itself since it invariably contains something which no longer exists at the moment of our encounter with the artwork. It claims to be real but in fact it is only a vision, a ghost, vague and transient.

Therefore, it is extremely important that Per Speculum has been shot not with a digital but with a lm camera, and that the projector with the lm revolving in it becomes part of the project demonstrating to us this fragile material bearer of cinematic illusions.
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