1 March–28 April 2013
Opening: February 28, 6:30pm
Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes
11 rue Docteur Dolard
69100 Villeurbanne – France
At the IAC, Saâdane Afif presents Blue Time, Blue Time, Blue Time… Playing on the repetition at the onset of the exhibition’s title, the artist invites visitors to follow, from one space to another, “variations on the same piece,” started in 2004. Blue Time rhythmically runs through the show both as work and as a text, like a chorus or leitmotif.
Over the past few years, the artist commissioned lyrics related to objects in his exhibitions. These commissions respond to a precise set of rules. The generated texts are simultaneously emanations, and extensions of works. They have become artistic material. In this approach, Saâdane Afif plays with endless possibilities of interpretation, generated through the gaze of the other.*
For the exhibition Melancholic Beat in Essen, 2004, Saâdane Afif presented Blue Time (Sunburst), a hybrid object between a guitar and a clock. Like a metronome of melancholia, the piece’s ticking pervasively marked the passage of time within the exhibition.
In this context Afif first commissions lyrics from the artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar for each of the four works on display: Brume, Everyday, Black Spirit and Blue Time. These texts will be exhibited on the wall next to the works they refer to without distinction of status or form.
Throughout his exhibitions, Saâdane Afif successively orchestrates the metamorphoses of these texts into songs, albums, concerts, performances or radio broadcasts. Borrowing from the worlds of music and stage performance, these experiments remain, above all, conceptual proposals within the field of visual arts.
In 2005, Afif produced a first album with Lili Reynaud-Dewar’s lyrics; a first version of Blue Time is composed by Portradium and interpreted by Tujiko Noriko. It will be played during a concert given at the Palais de Tokyo for the Lyrics exhibition.
In 2007, this recording of Blue Time was aired for the radio show 58:22 & Some Words at the Galerie Medhi Chouakri, Berlin.
That same year, at the Galerie Hufkens in Brussels, Saâdane Afif conceives the exhibition Blue Time vs Suspense, in which Vale Poher composes, interprets and records a new version of Blue Time.
Also in 2007, Saâdane Afif staged Vale Poher’s rehearsal of three songs in the album, featuring Blue Time for The Rehearsal (Blue Time vs. Suspense) at the Moore Space in Miami.
In 2008, at the Witte de With for Technical Specifications, Afif introduced a cover of Blue Time realized from given technical specifications about the piece and reintroduces Vale Poher’s latest version of the song in the radio program 53’56”& Some Words.
In 2009, in Spain, for Feedback (Blue Time vs. Suspense), Afif presented the sculpture Infinity is my Duty, inspired by the song Blue Time, part of a set for an imaginary concert by Vale Poher.
In 2010, for A lecture, a recording & few witnesses at OPA, Guadalajara, Afif commissioned a potter to record the words of the song Blue Time on the ridges of a clay pot.
In 2011 and 2012, Saâdane Afif sent Speakers’ Corner to voice the text Blue Time in the streets of Beirut, Rotterdam and Zurich.
Most recently, last June, a new version of Blue Time was sung by Mount Moon in the New York subway for the two-month duration of the show L’s Bells – The Busker of the Gray Line, produced by MINI / Goethe Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38. The official release of the new album generated from this project is planned to take place at the IAC under the label Textual Records during the exhibition.
Vale Poher, accompanied by the bass player Carine di Vita, will be playing the Miami version of the piece (2007) during the IAC’s opening for the show, under the title Blue Time vs Suspense (the rehearsal).
As a prolongation to the show an actor will recite a dozen new texts on Blue Time, commissioned by the artist from a dozen of new authors, the last day of the exhibition and for an entire month, the days the market takes place in Villeurbanne’s public space.
Blue Time, Blue Time, Blue Time… retraces the numerous interpretations of the same work and the text that inspired it. It becomes a vantage point for an artistic process that unfolded over ten years, with incessant mutations. Its ideal form would be unfinished.
Saâdane Afif’s numerous solo exhibitions include Anthologie de l’Humour Noir, MMK Frankfurt (2012); Technical specifications, Witte de With (2008); and Lyrics at the Palais de Tokyo (2005). He participated in important international group exhibitions such as Made in Germany Zwei at the Sprengel Museum, kestnergesellschaft and the Kunstverein Hanovre (2012); Documenta 12, Kassel (2007); and the Lyon Biennale (2005).
Curators: Nathalie Ergino and Anne Stenne
Fanny Martin: f.martin [at] i-ac.eu / T + 33 (0)4 78 03 47 72
The Institut d’art contemporain gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication (DRAC Rhône-Alpes), the Rhône-Alpes Region and the City of Villeurbanne.
*Marcel Duchamp: “It is the beholder who makes the picture.”