In his work, Saâdane 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.
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.
With her ongoing work A Guide to Insults and Misanthropy (2004 and 2012), Maria Loboda plants a little garden which manifests bitter or sad feelings through the symbolic language of flowers of the Victorian era. The work changes continuously through her choice of flowers, running the gamut between boredom (onion flower) and anticipation (gooseberry), hatred (basil) and disdain (yellow carnation). Loboda considers language an artistic material amongst many others that, for her, also include botany. With its symbolic reading of flowers, this new edition of her work at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 is a unique take on this year’s theme of translation. In putting together an ensemble that will grow and change on the street in front of the gallery, Loboda expands the exhibition and embellishes this small corner of Chinatown, transforming the usage of public space by taking care of it.
The garden opening also saw the presentation of Oh, Wilderness, Loboda’s first monograph on her work from the period of 2009 until 2012. Published by Sternberg Press (who will also publish the anthology of Ludlow 38’s 2012 curatorial residency), the book demonstrates the artist’s aesthetic equation between language and materiality as it works the other way around, translating materials expressive of weak semiotics into language. Through these same materials, nature is observed and read, now constituting a grammar, rigorously arbitrary, formal, and conventional. The book contains an interview between Loboda, Caterina Riva, and Isobel Harbison, which traces the artist’s work and context, as well as texts by Riva, Harbison, and Lars Bang Larsen on her practice.
The exhibitions run at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, New York
until 29 July 2012