Saâdane Afif, The Fairytale Recordings

Wednesday 17 Apr 2019 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Free admission

Saâdane Afif, The Fairytale Recordings, Lafayette Anticipations
Performance The Fairytale Recordings, Katharina Schrade © Marc Domage

Since 2004, when he works for a new exhibition, Saâdane Afif requests people of his relations to write lyrics inspired by his artworks. This gesture, which was at first a simple experience, marks the beginning of a process determining for the future practice of the artist, that he will renew at each of his presentations. These texts enrich the work of the imagination of the other and become in turn a source of inspiration - a medium in itself. As a logical extension of this process of mutation, the practice of performance was then imposed to bring them to life.

The Fairytale Recordings is an exhibition staging "magic recordings" achieved during an inaugural performance and made by a fairytale character who produces works which represent him at the same time.

During this performance, the operatic actress Katharina Schrade will put eight songs’ texts come from Saâdane Afif’s repertoire in eight vases commissioned to the Munich Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg. These texts have been written by Lili Reynaud Dewar, Ina Blom, Tacita Dean, Mick Peter, Tom Morton during earlier exhibitions and the titles allude to the original artworks : Ghost, Vice de Forme, Black Hole… The musical creation has been commissioned to the composer and the artist Ari Benjamin Meyers who produced the strange musical scores of these spoken-sung declamations.

The vases lie on bases around a circular stage. Each bears a different figurine on its lid, depicting Schrade in a pose which evokes the baroque oratorio. All recording information of each work - the title of the song, the date and a reference number - are written on the edge of each lids. At the beginning of each act, an assistant takes the lid out of one of the vases to put in the actress’s voice. Katharina Schrade goes up the stage. Each lid bears a different figurine on its lid depicting the operatic actress in the pose that she will begin each recitation with. She starts singing and goes to the vase slowly. In a final breath she puts in the last verses of the text. The assistant immediately seals the lid to keep these alive verses in to eternity. Thus the ended works will lie on their bases during the exhibition.

As opening credits, a framed wall poster announces the event.
Saâdane Afif, performance <i>The Fairytale Recordings</i>, Lafayette Anticipations
The Fairytale Recordings performance, Katharina Schrade © Marc Domage
The French artist Saâdane Afif lives and works in Berlin (Germany). He was taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bourges. In 2009 he was awarded the Marcel Duchamp Prize for which he presented the artwork Vice de forme : In search of melodies. In 2015 he was awarded the Meurice Prize for the project Das Ende der Welt. His works - performances, texts, sculptures or posters - prove the important role from musicality. Art actually becomes words, music and movement, metamorphosing from one art form into another with the help of talented collaborators.
Since 2004 Saâdane Afif requests from writers and artists to write texts inspired by his artworks. The artist is researching the notions of author and authority in art. For instance he delegates the writing of his own texts to Lili Reynaud-Dewar for an exhibition 2004 in Essen, inviting a mathematician to teach geometry on a public place for one of his performances, or a speaker to recite his texts in the Venetian Lagoon (The Laguna's Tribute : A Corner Speaker in Venice, 2015). This simple experience has fast turned into a highly reflexive practice. The texts have not only questioned the notions of interpretation and commentary about an artwork, but also they have become a fundamental material for Afif’s art practice. Thus the visual is transposed into other senses, projecting the imaginary essence of a piece through the interpretations of others. After Afif has repeated this practice more than a hundred times, it has been obvious that the texts must be interpreted by musicians, composers, singers and performers. Saâdane Afif has also staged public performances in order to give life to the texts by singing and voice.