1974, Tirana, Albania
Anri Sala employs moving images and their soundtracks to investigate historical ruptures and failures of language. Using a variety of platforms including video installation, sculpture, photography, performance and movie scores, he explores non-verbal modes of expression through narratives or ideas. His work opens to a multiplicity of perspectives and interpretations by distancing the viewer from a “logical,” direct or language-based understanding. In contrast to traditional cinema, Sala's distinctive use of film challenges the supremacy of the image, instead allowing sound to serve as an important narrative cue. The music speaks to history and memory, bringing the viewer’s past, present and future into a single filmic experience. This “continuous present” found in Sala’s work has the effect of grounding the audience in a specific moment rather than projecting them into the illusion of what they see. His videos are presented in a wide range of immersive spaces that must be experienced with the whole body: modified environments with careful lighting and sound design that stimulate a visceral experience of the surrounding architecture. By creating this state of awareness, Sala proposes an exercise in civil resistance with political implications; his work allows us to reconsider the relationship of our own space and time to the location and historical moment depicted in the films.
Sala studied at the University of Arts (UART) in Tirana, Albania, after which he attended the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris. He completed his Postgraduate Studies in film directing at Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains in Tourcoing, France. In 2001, he received the Young Artist Prize of the 49th Venice Biennial, and was recipient of the Absolut Art Award 2011 and Prix Gilles-Dusein (2000). He was also shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize (2002) and Pries der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst (2005).
Lives and works in Paris and Berlin.
Recent selected solo exhibitions include: Anri Sala, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy (2019); The Last Resort, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2018); Anri Sala: o momento presente, Instituto Moreira Salles, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2017); Clocked Perspective, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2017); Anri Sala, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2017); The Last Resort, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney (2017); Anri Sala: Answer Me, New Museum, New York (2016); No Names, No Title, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (2015); The Present Moment (in D), Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2014); Air Cushioned Ride, CAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2013); Anri Sala, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2012); Anri Sala, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2012); Anri Sala, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Canada (2011); Anri Sala, Serpentine Gallery, London (2011); Anri Sala, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2011); Creating Space Where There Appears To Be None, About Change Collection, Berlin (2010); Purchase Not by Moonlight, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (2009) and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, United States (2008); Dammi i Colori, Daadgalerie, Berlin (2005); Entre chien et loup / When the Night Calls it a Day, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, and Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany (2004).
His work has also been exhibited widely in group shows such as: Scènes dans une bulle de crystal – Seen in a cristal ball, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris (2019); Strange Days: Memories of the Future, The Store X, 180 The Strand, London (2018); Par amour du jeu 1998-2018, Magasins Généraux, Pantin, France (2018); Faith Love Hope, Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (2018); All That We Have In Common, The Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia (2018); The Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (2017); Life Itself: on the question of what it essentially is; its materialities, its characteristics, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016); Prophetia, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain (2015); The Vincent Award 2014, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands (2014); One on One, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013); One Sixth of the Earth (Ecologies of Image), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2012); French Window: Looking at Contemporary Art through the Marcel Duchamp Prize, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2011); Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Holbein to Tillmans, Schaulager Münchenstein and Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2009); Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, International Center of Photography, New York (2008); Entre Fronteiras = Between Borders, MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain (2007); Reprocessing Reality, MoMA PS1, New York (2006), among others.
Anri Sala has participated in many international biennials, including: International Art Exhibitions and French and Albanian Pavilions at the 57th, 50th, 55th and 47th editions of the Venice Biennial (2017, 2003, 2013 and 1999, respectively); Yokohama Triennale 2001 and 2017, Japan; 12 Bienal de la Habana, Cuba (2015); MDE15 Encuentro Internacional de Arte de Medellín, Colombia (2015); The Fifth Auckland Triennial, New Zealand (2014); 1, 4 and 8 Berlin Biennale (2002, 2006 and 2014, respectively); Sharjah Biennial 11, United Arab Emirates (2013); 9th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); Taipei Biennial 2004, Taiwan; 8. İstanbul Bienali, Turkey (2003); 29a and 25a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2010 and 2002); Manifesta 3 Ljubiana, Slovenia and Manifesta 4 Frankfurt, Germany (2000 and 2002).