Anri Sala

Anri Sala

Music Before Language

"It's about reliving an experience." Interview with the acclaimed Albanian-born video artist Anri Sala, who doesn’t trust language, and so increasingly uses music in his video art.

Sala feels that language can be used to veil the truth. Thus he is preoccupied with music and rhythm as a form of communication among people: "It produces a choreography instead of producing a verbal discourse."

This interview mainly revolves around two of Sala’s video works which were shown in the fall of 2012 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark: 'Answer Me' (2008) and '1395 Days Without Red' (2011). The latter was recorded in Sarajevo in Bosnia, which came under permanent siege in the 1990s. At the time, many of its residents avoided wearing red - and colourful clothes in general - in order to minimize the risk of being hit by snipers.

Sala also talks about his method - as an example, the places where he films have a specific impact on the storyline of his videos: "... the place can tell the story and influence the story."

Anri Sala (b.1974) is an Albanian contemporary artist whose primary medium is video. Sala has exhibited at venues such as the Barbican Centre and Serpentine Galleries in London, New Museum in New York, Kunsthalle Wien and Hauser & Wirth in Zürich. Moreover, he represented France at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Sala lives and works in Paris.

Anri Sala was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark in 2012.

Camera: Jakob Solbakken
Produced and edited by: Jakob Solbakken and Marc-Christoph Wagner, 2012

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Margarethe von Trotta

    A Group of Rebels

    Award-winning film director Margarethe von Trotta – who has worked closely with the legendary directors Fassbinder and Schlöndorff – here shares the story of her winding road to becoming one of the leading contemporary German filmmakers.

  • Anna Bjerger

    It's All About Process

    “The painting moves me forward – and I follow.” Meet Swedish Anna Bjerger, who wants to preserve the excitement of painting, and who paints from photographs, feeling that she can somehow rescue images “that would otherwise disappear.”

  • 3 Artists

    On Yayoi Kusama’s Phalli’s Field

    An absorbing installation of mirrors and soft polka dots by Yayoi Kusama. Join artists Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Astrid Svangren and Alexander Tovborg as they explore what Kusama herself describes as “a sublime, miraculous field of phalluses.”

  • Colm Tóibín

    On Writing

    The award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín here shares his meticulous approach to writing, and how a novel can begin with – and build on – just one perfectly shaped sentence: “It moves into rhythm when you least expect it.”

  • David Shrigley

    Advice to the Young

    “You’re on the right track if you’re excited about what you’re doing.” David Shrigley, known for his humorous spin on common situations, here advises his colleagues to be open to learning from mistakes and stresses that being an artist “isn’t for everybody.”

  • Superflex

    Why We Flooded McDonald’s

    What motivates a Danish artists' group to make a movie where one of the most famous American fast food restaurants is inexplicably flooded? Superflex here comment on the content of their “post-apocalyptic movie” ‘Flooded McDonald’s’.

  • Peter Zumthor

    Different Kinds of Silence

    We visited Peter Zumthor – one of the world’s leading architects – in his studio in Switzerland. In this extensive and rare biographical video interview he tells the captivating story of his childhood, his studies in NYC and his parents’ strong influence.

  • Marina Abramović

    Advice to the Young

    Follow your intuition. Have courage. Do what you imagine. And always be completely present in the moment. Marina Abramović on what it really means to be an artist: "A great artist has to be ready to fail."

  • Linn Ullmann

    We All Try to Make Life Work

    ”Literature was a place, where I could recognize things that I thought were only felt by me.” Meet Norwegian writer Linn Ullmann for a conversation about literature, writing and the obligation of the author to be critical of power.

  • Pipilotti Rist

    Color is Dangerous

    Meet the sensuous Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist, whose work full of colour and playfulness. She here argues that videos can have painterly qualities and tells the story of one of her most famous videos, where a woman smashes car windows with a flower.

  • 6 Artists

    Poetry of Discarded Materials

    In a time where consumerism only seems to be growing, it is inspiring to observe these six artists – such as Tara Donovan and Piet Hein Eek – who have made discarded, everyday materials the centre of their work. Watch their approach to re-using materials.

  • 6 Artists

    On Decisive Moments

    6 acclaimed artists reveal a decisive moment in their life – a strong personal experience which became crucial in their development, and in shaping their work as artists.