Adel Abdessemed


Bold Tendencies opens its new season under the title ‘Arcadia’ on May 14th 2021. Abdessemed’s Bristow will be shown alongside other site-specific projects by Harold Offeh, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Andy Holden, Rebecca Ackroyd, Rene Matić and many others.

The title of Bristow is taken from the signature work of the British cartoonist Frank Dickens (1931 – 2016), whose cartoon strip of the same name ran for 41 years in the Evening Standard. The series follows the life of a downtrodden and monotonous clerk as he avoids doing useful work for his large city conglomerate; in particular, he is distracted by a frequent pigeon on his windowsill — an everyday character synonymous with claustrophobic metropolitan centres. Combining this pedestrian creature with symbols of makeshift terrorism and instant messaging, Bristow captures a contemporary culture of fear mixed with the banality of everyday city life. Perched on a London bollard, it is a discreet reminder of the lack of faith we entrust in our neighbours, and the unsettling, suspicious ways in which this manifests throughout the world.