Friday, December 26, 2008

Adel Abdessemed

From my review of “Adel Abdessemed: Situation and Practice”:
Violence and religion (plus immigration and race) are the subjects of "Adel Abdessemed: Situation and Practice" at MIT's List Visual Arts Center. In one gallery, the New York–based Algerian artist exhibits a black terra cotta car resting on its side. Cast from a relic of the 2005 riots in the predominantly poor black and North African immigrant Paris suburbs, it also suggests the wreckage of a car bomb. In the video “Also Sprach Allah (Thus Spoke Allah),” 10 men in a room use a blanket to toss the artist toward the ceiling in a room. Each time, Abdessemed draws a charcoal mark on a rug tacked to the ceiling, until he scrawls out the piece's title. An 11-second video shows the view of a camera dropped from a helicopter 700 meters above Berlin. You glimpse a bit of the city, then a dizzying blur as the camera spins down, until it stops dead. Bombs and Allah and crashing from the sky — I suppose you can sense where this is heading.
Read the rest here (about halfway down).

“Adel Abdessemed: Situation and Practice,” MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St., Cambridge, Oct. 11, 2008, to Jan. 4, 2009.

Pictured from top to bottom: Adel Abdessemed, “Dead or Alive,” 2007; “Practice Zero Tolerance (retournée),” 2008; “Séparation,” 2006; and “Helikoptère (I),” 2007; courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York.


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