An artist of paradoxes, Adel Abdessemed has been one of the leading figures on the contemporary art scene since the late 1990s. His work has been exhibited in the world’s leading art venues, including the Venice Biennale in 2011 and PS1 (a satellite of MoMA) in Long Island in 2008. The Centre Georges Pompidou mounted a major retrospective of his work in 2012. Abdessemed was born in Constantine, Algeria in 1971 and lives and works in Paris and New York. He studied at the École des beaux arts in Algiers and the École des beaux arts in Lyon. Abdessemed’s work, in a variety of media, is at once abundant and sparing, sensitive and controversial, radical and banal, drawing on a variety of personal, social and political sources to depict in different forms the effects of present-day society and the human thirst for power. His art, which sometimes gives rise to controversy, summons up cycles of destruction while at the same time celebrating the transformation and movements of energy. In 2008, his video installation Don’t Trust Me, showing the slaughter of farm animals using traditional Mexican methods, was banned in San Francisco and Turin. For ORANGE 2012 we are presenting the formally simple Birth of Love, a video work of raw realism that depicts a cat devouring a rat. In carrying out this natural act, the animal plunges us into a kind of disgust which obliges us to see differently and to reconsider the basis of our own bestial nature.
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