The Power to Act
Jrp/Ringier, Zürich, 2011
In the artist’s early works, he passionately tackled religious, sexual, and taboo subjects and his later exhibitions have often focused on the theme of global violence. In an interview with Elisabeth Lebovici he stated, “I do not live between two cultures. I am not a postcolonial artist. I am not working on the scar and am not mending anything. I am just a detector … In the public sphere, I use passion and rage. Nothing else. I don’t do illusions.”
This publication highlights the range of his practice, which is sometimes reduced to a simple scribble on a piece of paper, as in La naissance de MohammedKarlpolpot (1999), a condensation of names evoking totalitarism and religion, and sometimes complex and monumental installations such as Habibi (2003), a 17-meter-long fiberglass and resin replica of a human skeleton suspended from the ceiling. This fully-illustrated monograph offers a comprehensive overview of Abdessemed’s work and is organized around an extensive essay by Larys Frogier, Director of La Criée centre d’art contemporain in Rennes, France.