Work from the Collection

Au Hasard Balthazar

Date: 2015
Materials: Plastic, Ink
Collection: Lafayette anticipations - Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin
Domain: Prints
Au Hasard Balthazar is a four-colour pen from BIC with an entirely white exterior. Until the user writes with it, they remain unaware of the chosen colour of the ink. The title of the work draws on popular culture: this expression, which means “let's take the risk”, is an ironic reference to the randomness of the choice of colour. By appropriating an iconic BIC object, Saâdane Afif is drawing on the tradition of the readymade initiated by Marcel Duchamp to question the relationship between the work of art and the brand. These commercially accessible pens, produced in factories in Montevrain and Tarragona in an artist’s edition of five thousand copies, question the uniqueness and value of the work of art. Au Hasard Balthazar is the second work in a series which includes Noir c’est noir (2013) and Faux-semblant (2016) that Saâdane Afif began for the launch of the Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette in 2013.

Text written by Claire Tallon as part of the partnership between the École du Louvre and Lafayette Anticipations – Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin.