Adel Abdessemed
ça tient à trois fils

‘Chrysalide, ça tient à trois fils’, 1999
video projection or on monitor, 15 min. 30 sec. (loop)
color, sound, skein of black wool
dimensions vary (aspect ratio 4:3)

This video work documents a performance given in Paris in November 1999. The title, Chrysalide, ça tient à trois fils (“chrysalis, hanging by three threads”), evokes the transformation and liberation from the “covering” to which women’s bodies are consigned. A static camera shot shows a body entirely wrapped in a cocoon of black wool, leaving only the eyes visible. Abdessemed picks up the ball of yarn and begins to unravel the knitted covering. The woman turns in a spinning movement while the artist rotates in the opposite direction, piling the yarn at her feet. The action takes place in silence as the naked body of Chourouk, a Moroccan student, steadily emerges, until the “hood” is finally removed from her face. Nudity thus appears as a veritable epiphany for a body previously bound by cultural constraints, as demonstrated by the spontaneous applause of the audience witnessing this rite of rebirth.

Angela Megoni