Defined as ‘post-conceptual’, Saâdane Afif’s work is about interpretation, exchange and circulation. It takes multiple forms (performance, objects, sculptures, text, posters and works in neon) with the exhibition as a pretext for production or activation. For an exhibition in Essen in 2004, he asked Lili Reynaud Dewar to write a song inspired by his artwork; this was the beginning of the series called Lyrics for which he displaces his authorship and collaborates with other artists or writers. The texts or statements are often transferred to the walls using holographic self-adhesive paper. Afif’s practice is rooted in music: scores, instruments, speakers, microphones, concerts and posters are part of his vocabulary or media. Other recurring interests include the passing of time (skulls, clocks), appropriation, remakes or repetitions and the displacement of meaning, and the critique of institutions. In 2010 Afif wrote: “My work today does not rely on the object: it is developed through the accumulation or interweaving of elements that can be more or less visible.”
Saâdane Afif (b. 1970, Vendôme, France) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Paroles, Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels (2018); The Fountain Archives, Centre Pompidou, Paris (travelling exhibition, 2017); Quoi? - L'Eternité, Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, Seoul (2016); The End of the World, Museum for Naturkunde, Berlin (2015); Là bas, Kunsthaus Glarus (2014) and Ici, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum & Papiermuseum, Düren (2014). His work was included in Documenta 12 (2007) and in the 56th International Exhibition of the Venice Bienniale (2015). The artist won the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2009, which led to an exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2010) and the Prix Meurice pour l’art contemporain in 2015.
interview by Anne-Claire Schmitz, published by Xavier Hufkens and Triangle Books, 2014, 72 pages, English
text by Elena Filipovic, published by Xavier Hufkens and Triangle Books, 2014, 72 pages, English
text by Daniel Baumann and Ina Blom, published by Witte de With, 2009, 148 pages, English
text by Lili Reynaud Dewar, Maxime Matray and Vale Poher, performed by Vale Poher, published by Xavier Hufkens, 2007, 3-track CD
12 March 2019—5 January 2020
Musée de l'Histoire de l'Immigration / Palais de la Porte Dorée, Paris, France