Adel Abdessemed (b. 1971) left Algeria in 1994, and he considers his act a political one: When there is no peace at home, one must go elsewhere, otherwise the soul will die. The most important thing is to act, to resist, and to create in order to change the world. Abdessemed’s work draws from a multiplicity of media, including sculptural installation, video, animation, and photography. While some critics label his controversial pieces inappropriate due to their often graphically violent nature, the acts as Abdessemed calls his politically committed artworks, consistently interact with larger global realities. Abdessemed’s apparent rage permeates throughout, calling viewers’ attention to expressions of brutality and frequently referencing failed immigration policies, exile, and displacement. His work has been widely exhibited.
The Sea, 2008
Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea
Utopian Days – Freedom was an exhibition at the Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, one of South Korea’s leading art museums, and later was shown at the Nowon Culture and Arts Center, Seoul, South Korea.
Clemens von Wedemeyer
The Sea, 2008
10 sec (loop), color, sound
Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London
Exhibited: The Sea, 2008
The sea, by Adel Abdessemed, is a video in which the artist faces the ocean on a rough slab of wood. A work that speaks about the role of the artist and questions of survival, The sea documents Abdessemed’s efforts to balance on his hands and knees on the wooden slab as it pitches with the ocean waves while he attempts to write the phrase Politically Correct.