Adel Abdessemed
Tonight no man
will sleep

‘Tonight no man will sleep’, 2022,
173 x 60 x 35 cm

The artist’s body is recreated at scale in black patinated bronze, and carries on his shoulder a terrestrial globe on fire. Flames originate from underneath the globe, enveloping it in fire. The artist replicates here a photography from his famous 2020 series Description d’un combat, exploring in the third dimension the same ideas of violence and social tension towards self-destruction. The artist, a contemporary Atlas, sustains the weight of the world and idiosyncrasies, the pain and the overwhelming violence, showing little to no effort. Adel Abdessemed’s fascination with fire has been long-lasting, ever since the iconic photograph Adel Abdessemed Je suis innocent (2000), where he set himself ablaze. The element of fire mirrors the inflamed nature of his art, disruptive, violent and indomitable. The title of the work is a translation of Nessun dorma, an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, opening up new possible lines of interpretation.


Photo : Oak Taylor-Smith