NAME
Adel Abdessemed
GALLERIA CONTINUA is proud to present Out, Out, Brief Candle, by Adel Abdessemed. This is the artist’s first exhibition at GALLERIA CONTINUA since the gallery announced his representation. Weaving illuminating links between history, poetry and current social and political events, his works will be displayed in the entire Parisian space. There aren’t many artists who take my breath away, bowl me over with fear or laughter, reach out and shake me with a word or a vision. Adel Abdessemed is one of these shockers. He can simultaenously make me fly and delight me (Hélène Cixous). Darkness versus light, power versus vulnerability: Adel Abdessemed listens to the cry of a faltering world. His challenge – and honour – is to serve as an impartial witness. His art, despite or beyond any controversy, is above all an allegory. Consequently, any accusation or fatwa vanishes in the face of the artist’s innocence. Evoking the fragility of all things, the title “Out, Out, Brief Candle” is a famous quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. […]

Out, out, brief candle

Galleria Continua, Paris

8 October - 26 November, 2022

Out, out, brief candle

Galleria Continua, Paris

8 October - 26 November, 2022

GALLERIA CONTINUA is proud to present Out, Out, Brief Candle, by Adel Abdessemed. This is the artist’s first exhibition at GALLERIA CONTINUA since the gallery announced his representation. Weaving illuminating links between history, poetry and current social and political events, his works will be displayed in the entire Parisian space. There aren’t many artists who take my breath away, bowl me over with fear or laughter, reach out and shake me with a word or a vision. Adel Abdessemed is one of these shockers. He can simultaenously make me fly and delight me (Hélène Cixous). Darkness versus light, power versus vulnerability: Adel Abdessemed listens to the cry of a faltering world. His challenge – and honour – is to serve as an impartial witness. His art, despite or beyond any controversy, is above all an allegory. Consequently, any accusation or fatwa vanishes in the face of the artist’s innocence. Evoking the fragility of all things, the title “Out, Out, Brief Candle” is a famous quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. As if responding to this injunction, the artist smashes a candle with his foot in his video Politics of the Studio, Out, Out, Brief Candle (2020). In Jam Proximus Ardet, la dernière vidéo (2021) the artist also uses fire. The burning of a ship in the middle of the sea becomes the mausoleum for all the tragedies that have marked the Mediterranean Sea, which both connects and separates the artist’s country of origin from his country of adoption. The title of the work comes from Virgil’s poem the Aeneid, in which the main protagonist realises that the city of Troy is doomed to destruction. The brief video loop breaks with the narrative, opting for a single shot, a flickering image that seems to be coming closer to us. A ship in flames looms on the horizon, we hear the deafening sound of flames devouring the boat... Gradually, we make out the figure of the captain, who is none other than the artist himself. Stoic, standing on the deck, seemingly oblivious to the drama unfolding behind him, he remains at the helm. Here, the artist also confronts the deluge of images from the war in Ukraine that currently flood our media. He has retained two images of this war, which he transformed into monumental bas-reliefs of burnt wood, like funerary steles. In Entièrement brûlé, Nika et Miya, two unharmed girls contemplate the spectacle of destruction, while Entièrement brûlé,Ave Maria imposes on us the unbearable image of a wounded female body. Standing in the gallery space is a sculpture of the artist’s body. He carries a burning globe on his shoulder. Its title sounds like an omen or a warning: Tonight No Man Will Sleep… Upstairs, we are confronted by an army of life-size roosters sculpted from barbed wire. Fascinating and disturbing, they are the mirror of our cruelty. In the back room, the last work of the exhibition can be seen: Tomorrow and tomorrow. This is a huge metal crusher driven by perpetual motion. A mechanical ballet, a hypnotic show: a true call to bravery, it is the last illusion to pass through, the last veil to tear away, the one covering the truth.