Saâdane Afif

Saâdane Afif
Photo 1: Saâdane Afif, photo: Biennale Son | Photos

The Sion Groove Sessions (A Few Poetry Lectures Recorded on Pottery), 2023

Performance, 4 hours

In collaboration with Charlotte Centelighe, ceramist and Mathilde Morel, voice

Sound is a vibration that propagates like a wave through a gas, liquid or solid. In 1877, Thomas Edison developed the first method of recording sound: a stylus engraved sound waves on a cylinder wrapped in tin foil. The same stylus, mounted on a diaphragm and amplified by a bell, was used to read and hear the recorded sounds. A century later, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Georges Charpak, recalling that sound waves are capable of creating grooves in soft matter, suggested that they could have an impact on clay. And he dreamed of inventing a tool that would enable us to hear sounds recorded on the grooves of ancient pottery, perhaps even the songs that accompanied their creation.

Created in Guadalajara in 2010, Saâdane Afif was inspired by Georges Charpak's project. In one room, a potter's wheel, two loudspeakers facing it, and empty pedestals. A poster on the wall announces an event on the opening night program: "a reading, a recording and a few witnesses". Behind the glass of a booth, the performer speaks into the microphone texts that Saâdane Afif has commissioned from other artists around his own pieces since 2004. In the recording room, where the audience is also seated, her voice is amplified by the loudspeakers, superimposed on the ceramist's work. And if Charpak's theory is to be believed, the waves are imprinted on the damp earth as it turns on its lathe. With each new song, the ceramist starts a new pot.

The only decoration is an enamelling on the lip of each pot, which bears an identification number, the title of the recorded lyrics, the date of composition, the author's initials, the name of the ceramist/sound engineer and the place and date of recording. After firing in the EDHEA laboratories, the pottery is returned to La Centrale for display.

The Fairytale Recordings: REC#003FTR-ON (Black Spirit 2004), 2011

Sculpture, Painted and varnished porcelain, 70 x 30 x 30 cm.

On the upper part of the stopper: manufacturer's seal

Work presented as part of the exhibition Echos d'une collection - Works by Frac Franche-Comté

The Fairytale Recordings (Poster), 2011

Silkscreen on paper, photomechanical reproduction, 140 x 100 cm, 147.5 x 116.3 x 4 cm (with frame)

Drawing: 6/40 + XV

Work presented as part of the exhibition Echos d'une collection - Works by Frac Franche-Comté

Pop (Black Spirit), 2004

Vinyl adhesive. Two possible sizes: 300 x 81 cm or 210 x 57cm.Text by Lili Renaud Dewar
Print run: 3/6 + 2EA

Work presented as part of the exhibition Echos d'une collection - Works by Frac Franche-Comté

This ceramic belongs to a series of eight, the Fairytale Recordings, which take as their starting point earlier works by Saâdane Afif for which Tom Morton, Lili Reynaud Dewar, Mick Peter, Ina Blom and Tacita Dean have written texts. Lyric singer and actress Katharina Schrade then performed these texts. She poured them into vases designed by Saâdane Afif and produced by Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, Munich. Each is sealed and topped by a figurine representing the singer in the outfit worn for the performance (signed by StayStyling, Berlin) and in the posture she is to assume at the start of the interpretation - here of a text written for the work Black Spirit by Lili Reynaud Dewar, published in 2004 as an adhesive vinyl.

The work refers to the invention of sound recording, to Gargantua's idea of preserving voices by taking them in ice, and to the various cultures that enclose the remains of the dead in vases.

Working with graphic designers in Valencia, Saâdane Afif produces limited-edition posters that serve as credits for his work, in the manner of the film and music industries. In so doing, he underlines the way in which creation feeds on other works, and functions through interpretation, mutation and evolution, without it ever being possible to convey everything that makes it art. All the collaborations involved in The Fairytale Recordings are featured here.

Saâdane Afif

Born in 1970 in Vendôme (FR)

Lives and works in Berlin

A graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts de Bourges, Saâdane Afif is an artist whose work questions our relationship to art, and the way it fits into our societies and our systems of thought. Often linked to music, he reproduces its creative processes. For example, since 2004, Saâdane Afif has been asking authors to write songs about his works, according to a system of constraints. The texts can then be hung in the exhibition alongside the pieces, entrusted to composers, performers, performed, recorded, give rise to concerts, albums, posters, or even give rise to new works... Over 200 songs have been born in this way, most grouped together in a book(Paroles,Éditions Zoë Gray, 2018)), which itself served as the keystone to an exhibition. Songs make it possible to include other presences in the work, to cross imaginations, to play on mutations and temporalities.

Saâdane Afif was artistic director - convener - of the last Bergen Assembly triennial in Norway in 2022. He fulfilled his role in a way that is indicative of his art, which unfolds in inventive collaborative forms, of which he is in a way the conductor. He invited a fictional curator and conceived the event as the development of an old project born at the Marrakech Biennial in 2014.

His interest in questions of perception naturally follows in the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp. Since 2008, he has been collecting books and magazines reproducing Fountain, the famous urinal exhibited in 1917. Each time, the page is torn out and framed, and the work is placed in a library. Needless to say, the project has spawned its own publications and thus a second layer of archiving, and should stop at the 1001st occurrence found.

Saâdane Afif has received numerous accolades, including the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2015.

exposure time

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