Saâdane Afif, L’S BELLS—The Busker of the Gray Line

June 21–July 29, 2012

MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, is pleased to present a new solo exhibition with Berlin-based French artist Saâdane Afif. In his work, Afif appropriates strategies of art and music, in order to critique common notions of interpretation and repetition, and to reflect on artistic authorship. His installations combine lyrics and music, for instance from popular culture, with prefabricated or ready-made objects.

Having lived in New York for the past six months, Afif takes another step into the city for his exhibition at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38. In recent years, Afif has asked fellow artists, curators, and critics to write descriptive or metaphorical song texts referring to his work. These lyrics are usually presented as wall texts accompanying his art objects. For L’S BELLS—The Busker of the Gray Line, Afif invited Brooklyn-based street musician Mount Moon to compose and perform nine songs using such texts, in his American singer-songwriter style. While the lyrics will be presented at the gallery, the other part of the exhibition will wander through the city with Mount Moon, who will perform the songs in the Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street subway stations in Brooklyn at various unannounced times throughout the exhibition period.

Saâdane Afif was born in Vendôme, France, in 1970 and lives and works in Berlin. In early 2012 his solo exhibition Anthologie de l’humour noir, which originated at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 2010, was shown at MMK Zollamt, Frankfurt/Main. Other recent solo exhibitions include The Fairytale Recordings at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, in 2011. Afif’s work has also been shown at OPA, Guadalajara; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Museum Folkwang, Essen, among others. In 2007 he participated in documenta 12. Afif was the recipient of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2009.

Mount Moon is the musical outlet of Wesley Bryon, resident of Bushwick, Brooklyn. His songs retain a folk- and blues-influenced vibe when played live, but recordings showcase more instrumental experimentation. Bryon also produces comic books, art, and meager amounts of writing, and plays bass in the psychedelic blues experience Sagopalm.

Exhibition and composition with texts by: Ina Blom, Vice de forme (A Duel of Warriors); Brandon Labelle, L’Humour noir (Your Hearth is my Grave); Louis-Philippe Scoufaras, L’Humour noir (Soulless); Michael Stevenson, L’Humour Noir (Turned Out, Stitched In, Cast Off); Tacita Dean, L’Humour noir (Song for Saâd); Tom Morton, Montana Blues; Lili Reynaud Dewar, Blue Time; Vale Poher, Blue Time vs. Suspense; Tom Morton, Ghost

The exhibition is accompanied by an album with all new songs performed by Mount Moon, and a publication with texts by Lucy Ives, Clara Meister, and Antje Stahl.

Presented in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy within the framework of the Carte Blanche program

Curated by Clara Meister