Nocturnes, 1999, video, 12 min.
"Considering his young age, Sala belongs to the generation
of young Albanian artists that received their education after
the change of the system in Albania. Even though, he had already
gone through the old regime experience for quite some years
in his early youth. It is this fact of going through the real
transition period and experiencing both situations from a
different point of view that has given Anri Sala the opportunity
to create his artistic position…" (Edi Muka) At Manifesta
3 Anri Sala presents his recent work, the short film Nocturnes.
The film opens with a night-time scene: in a deserted street,
a person is carrying a plastic bag containing an aquarium
fish. But the content of the video film does not continue
in the lyrical and dreamy mood that the title may suggest.
There are two intertwining stories in the video film. The
first story is told by a man who lives alone with about 2000
fish in aquariums, the way one takes care of them, protects
them from intrudors. The second story is told by another young
man, a former UN soldier. It reminds of some events of the
Balkan war which have marked him for life and are shadowing
him constantly. The story is a metaphor of the Balkan situation.
This gives the film a dimension where "reflections on Life
and Death dominate, and where human life's worth and devaluation
are shown in a powerful manner that creates a permanent anxiety
feeling at the viewer". (Edi Muka)