May 16, 2017 - Nouveau Musée National de Monaco - Saâdane Afif: The Fountain Archives, 2008–2017 / Kasper Akhøj: Welcome (To the Teknival)
May 16, 2017

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco

Left: Saâdane Afif, The Fountain Archives FA.0503, 2015. Torn out page from Cros Caroline, Duchamp, Paris: Editions du Centre Pompidou, 2014, p. 21, 25 x 25.5 cm (framed). Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin, mfc-michèle didier, Paris and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Right: Kasper Akhøj, Welcome (To The Teknival), 2008–2017. LE silver gelatin print. Courtesy of the artist and Ellen De Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam.

Saâdane Afif: The Fountain Archives, 2008–2017
Kasper Akhøj: Welcome (To the Teknival)
June 2, 2017

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco
Villa Paloma
56 boulevard du Jardin Exotique
MC-98000 Monaco
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +377 98 98 20 95
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From June 2, 2017, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco - Villa Sauber presents two solo exhibitions by artists Saâdane Afif and Kasper Akhøj.

Saâdane Afif
The Fountain Archives, 2008–2017

Since the debut appearance of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain in 1917, the famous urinal has generated an endless flood of comments. Long after the first article dedicated to the Fountain in the magazine The Blind Man, both the object and the artistic gesture are still a powerful vector of controversy.

Starting in 2008 as a "hobby-artwork," Saâdane Afif set out to look for publications picturing Duchamp’s Fountain. During his trips and through his research online, he gathered a number of books and magazines showing Fountain. Saâdane Afif tears out the page where Fountain is depicted and has it framed. The publications, left devoid of their Fountains, are then stored on bookshelves, creating an archive without its object. After several years of collecting, Saâdane Afif’s Fountain Archives is currently approaching 900 items and will be continued until its 1001st.

Established with the rigour of a library, the body of publications is to be read like one thousand and one stories prolonging the life of the artwork Fountain—not unlike the Arabian Nights tale. This narrative potential of the artwork is the essence of the Fountain Archives.

Images of Duchamp’s Fountain now illustrate articles about Saâdane Afif’s work. These publications signal an evolution in the development and perception of The Fountain Archives as an artwork. Step by step, these pages start to build an archive within the archive, in a sort of mise en abyme, shifting the paradigms of interpretation to encompass Afif’s work.

Since 2004 Saâdane Afif has been asking his friends—usually artists, writers or critics—to write lyrics inspired by his artworks.  On the opening day of his exhibition in Monaco, the label Lyrics Records, which acts as an archive of this very process, will be officially launched.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the NMNM and b.frank book publish Fountain, 1917 an artist book directed by Saâdane Afif, with an introduction text by artist Tacita Dean.

Kasper Akhøj
Welcome (To the Teknival

On the first floor of the Villa Sauber, the NMNM presents an exhibition by artist Kasper Akhøj dedicated to E-1027, Maison en bord de Mer, the summer hideaway house designed by Eileen Gray for Jean Badovici between 1926 and 1929 in Roquebrune Cap-Martin, at a walking distance from the exhibition venue. 

Kasper Akhøj has visited E-1027 five times between 2008 and 2017, during its ongoing restoration. Each visit was documented according to the perspective and composition of a well-known series of photographs by Eileen Gray herself, which she had conceived for the pages of l’Architecture Vivante on the year of completion of her and Badovici's villa. 

Akhøj’s work is presented as a selection of 59 black and white silver gelatin prints which are acting as remakes of the original Eileen Gray images and function as their own restaging. The same perspective is never shown more than once, hence different chronologies overlap and confront each other, evoking the chronicles of the successive occupants of the house (including Le Corbusier, but also squatters, workers, restorers, and more architects). By doing this, Akhøj indirectly forms an uncertain and undetermined narrative around the body of a house that has been subjected to restoration work lasting almost a decade. Yet, rather than documenting the restoration process his photographic series "restores" something else—time, process, irreparability and change. The title of Kasper Akhøj’s work is thus borrowed from two different graffiti of the 1990s, painted by squatters who occupied the abandoned site, and subsequently covered during the first stages of restoration of the villa.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of an artist book by Kasper Akhøj, with essays by Beatriz Colomina, Architecture historian (Princeton University, NJ) and Jorge Otero-Pailhos, Architect and Professor in architectural preservation (Columbia University, NY).

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco
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The Fountain Archives, 2008–2017
Kasper Akhøj
Welcome (To the Teknival)
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