Adel Abdessemed’s ‘Hope’ – This boat transported illegal immigrants to the US

Adel Abdessemed – Hope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm
Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm

About ‘Hope’

In 2012, Algerian born artist Adel Abdessemed showed Hope as part of his solo exhibition Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf at David Zwirner.

The boat was found abandoned on a beach in the Florida Keys (US). Typically used to illegally transport immigrants in pursuit of a new life to the United States, often compromising their safety in the process, the boat is presented as it was discovered but has been filled to the brim with black bags cast in polyurethane resin from actual, stuffed garbage sacks. While a crude and provocative analogy between the trash and the boat’s former passengers appears explicit, Hope presents an art historical reference to Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich’s apocalyptic painting from 1823-1824, The Wreck of the Hope1, featuring a capsized vessel in a sea of icebergs.

About Adel Abdessemed

Born in 1971 in Constantine, Algeria, Adel Abdessemed studied at the École des beaux-arts de Batna and the École des beaux-arts d’Alger, Algiers (1987-1994), before traveling to France where he attended the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon (1994-1998). He was an artist-in-residence at the Cité internationale des Arts de Paris in 1999-2000, and the following year at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s International Studio Program in Long Island City, New York. After living in New York, the artist moved to Paris, then to Berlin, then back to New York. He now lives and works in Paris.

Photos

Adel Abdessemed - Hope
Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm

Adel Abdessemed – Hope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm
Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm

Adel Abdessemed – Hope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm
Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm

Adel Abdessemed – Hope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm
Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm


Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 205,7 x 579,1 x 243,8 cm

All images by Adel Abdessemed/adelabdessemed.com, ADAGP Paris Photo Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio unless otherwise noted.

Related works

Related readings

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sea_of_Ice
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