mor charpentier, Paris
Saâdane Afif, Edgardo Aragón
Música de Viento is a sound piece made from magnetic tapes collected in the fields of the province of Oaxaca, and used by farmers as rudimentary scarecrows. Stirred by the wind, these bands produce sounds that frighten birds and protect corn crops.
At the same time, the climatic phenomena intervene on the ribbons by distorting the music previously recorded on them, and thus compose their own melody.
Edgardo Aragón was born in 1985 in Oaxaca, Mexico. He lives and works in Oaxaca.
In the work of Edgardo Aragón the structures of power, violence and politics are addressed in recorded performances that are recreations of past events, freely mixing story lines from family and political history. Describing his oeuvre, the artist has stated: “My work often evolves around how power from a higher level is used to segment a large part of the population.” His videos, serene in appearance, show scenarios formed by landscapes that in fact hide a political discourse, developing narratives inspired by the everyday social realities of his home country, Mexico. The works become documents of mournful sensibility that call our attention to the appalling universality of the problems he addresses.
His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at various institutions including the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO), Mexico (2017); the CAPC, Bordeaux, France (2016); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2016); Tabacalera, Madrid (2014); Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City, (2012); MoMA P.S.1, New York, (2012); and the Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles, (2012).
Group exhibitions where his work has been included have taken place in institutions such as the MAMM, Medellín, Colombia (2019); Beirut Museum of Art in Tripoli, Lebanon (2018); Renaissance Society in Chicago (2018); Jewish Museum, New York (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art of Detroit (2015); Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2013); Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2013); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2012 and 2011); San Francisco Art Institute (2011); Laboral Centro de Arte, Gijón, Spain (2011); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2010).
His work has also been featured in the 3rd Moscow Biennial of Young Artists; the 12th Istanbul Biennial, and the 8th Mercosul Biennial, Brazil, among others. His films have been screened in numerous film festivals in Werkleitz, Germany; Marseille, France and Mexico City. In 2015, Edgardo Aragón was part of the Jeu de Paume project “Inventing the Possible. Ephemeral Video Library”.
For this project conceived over several years, Saâdane Afif took the music that had been inspired by his own earlier works, released it as a vinyl on his record label and then used this music as the starting point for a new piece. In the exhibition Feedback (2009), he created a maquette for a stage-set for an imaginary concert during which the songs from this record would be played. Later, during the exhibition Blue Time, Blue Time, Blue Time… (2013), he produced this stage-set at full-scale. It comprised three large curtains on which bright orange rays of sun were painted.
Three years later, for an exhibition at the Atelier Hermes in Seoul (2016), Afif ut up these curtains to create a series of canvases and framed them under plexiglas on which images of waves are printed. Inspired by Arthur Rimbaud’s poem, L’Eternité (1872), the works were accompanied by a series of 13 lyrics commissionned to other artists, and featured on the walls in the exhibition space. The text written by Anri Sala that we’re presenting here belongs to this series.
This creative process, initiated in 2004 and consisting in asking other artists or authors to reinterpret his plastic works in the form of song lyrics, is a way for Afif to question the concepts of unique work of art and individual creator.
Saâdane Afif was born in 1970 in Vendôme, France. He lives and works in Berlin.
His multifaceted work draws on the know-how of craftsmen, musicians and writers in collaborative projects that challenge the very concept of the unique work of art or the individual creator. Afif, who describes himself as a “talkative conceptual artist,” uses
forms of popular culture, such as music, to bring people together in a shared moment of creativity. Through the exploration of different media (performances, objects, sculptures, texts, posters, etc.), it provokes both the collapse and the expansion of the notion of creative paternity.
Since 2004, he has regularly commissioned other artists and writers to produce songs inspired by his works. These texts have become a key material of his work, the materialization of what is happening in the mind of the “watcher”, a process of interpretation inherent to
the relationship between art and its audience.
His most recent solo exhibitions include: The Fountain Archives, Jumex, Mexico (2019) ; This is Ornamental, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2018); Paroles, WIELS, Brussels (2018); Ici., Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Düren; and Là-bas., La Panacée, Montpellier (2017-2018); The Fountain Archives, Center Pompidou, Paris (2017); Quoi? L’Eternité, Atelier Hermès, Seoul (2016); Vice de Forme: Das Kabarett, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2016); Das Ende der Welt, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin (2015); and Blue Time, Blue Time, Blue Time…, IAC Villeurbanne (2013). Afif also participated in international events such as Documenta 12 (2007), the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), and the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).
His work is in the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris; the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; the MUDAM, Luxembourg; the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt; the Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; among other institutional and private collections around the world.
He received the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2009 and the Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art in 2015.