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Saâdane Afif’s work vibrates with multiple meanings. His sculptures and installations reveal a fascination with music and music culture. They often adopt the forms of microphones, amplifiers, speakers, of musical instruments and their decorative finishes. And many of his works include music as an active ingredient. Another recurring element in Afif’s oeuvre is the passing of time, sometimes represented through a vanitas trope (particularly the image of a skull), or through the use of clocks as part of his formal vocabulary.
Over the past four years, Afif has adopted an unusual approach to his subject matter. Abandoning the position of the isolated artist taking sole responsibility for the outcome of his work, Afif practices a form of artistic delegation, creating an extensive network of commissions to artists, writers, designers and musicians. Starting in 2004, Afif began to invite writers to create lyrics based upon his own artworks. These were presented as texts on the gallery walls (in place of the usual didactic institutional labels) alongside Afif’s original works. He then gave these lyrics to musicians and commissioned them to write music based upon the words. The resulting songs were then presented in the gallery space and subsequently released on CD.
Afif’s generous and dialogical approach to the creation – and mediation – of art explores notions of appropriation, institutional critique, the elimination of the author, and the relationship between the original and the reproduction. As critic Anne Dressen puts it: “Close to post-conceptual postures, Afif goes beyond Kosuth’s One and Three chairs, proposing – instead of a chair, its representation and its description – an artwork, a poetic text and a song” (Flash Art, Dec 2005).
Presse release of the exhibition « Technical Specifications » at Witte de With, 2008
Selected exhibitions include Museum für Moderne Kunst (Franckfurt) 2012, Centre Georges Pompidou 2010, Witte de With 2008, Documenta 12, Tate Modern 2007, Fondation Prince Pierre Monaco 2006,Palais de Tokyo 2005, Moscow Biennal 2005, Lyon Biennal 2005.
In 2013 his work will be presented at IAC (Villeurbanne, France) and during the 11th Sharjah Biennial with a new production.
Jeder Geschlossene Raum ist Ein Sarg
S‚adane Afif - The Logic of Interpretation
Sa‚dane Afif et les mťtamorphoses du sens
A tombeau ouvert
Sa‚dane Afif dans tous les sens
Prix Marce Duchamp
Sa‚dane Afif, SM de choc ŗ Beaubourg
Entretien avec Sa‚dane Afif : Variations sur le mÍme thŤme
Les mťcaniques entÍtantes de Sa‚dane Afif ŗ Villeurbanne
"Donner du sens sans l'expliquer"
jeunesse / youth / part 1
publisher : Isthme Eds
English / French
250 x 180 mm
Anthologie de l'humour noir
publisher: Centre Pompidou
240 x 150 mm
Sa‚dane Afif : Saturne et les remakes
publisher: M19 Editions
Texts by Michel Gauthier
190 x 125 mm
Promenade au zoo
publisher: Devalence, Biennale de Lyon
210 x 170 mm
publisher : JRP|RINGIER
French / English
Texts by André Cadere and Jörg Heiser
213 x 150 mm
Lyrics Pictures / Texts
publisher: Saâdane Afif, Palais de Tokyo
French / English
210 x 155 mm
publisher: Witte de With Publishers
285 x 190 mm