Mon enfant

  • 2014
  • Adel Abdessemed
  • Charcoal on paper
  • 130.0 x 189.0 cm

The two charcoal drawings of Adel Abdessemed on paper, Cry (Cri) (2014) and My Child (Mon enfant) (2014), use two iconic 20th century photographic portraits: Nick Ut’s “Napalm Girl”, an iconic image from the Vietnam War, and the ghetto boy from Warsaw: part of a set of 53 photos from the Stroop Report album, documenting the demolishing of the ghetto following the Jewish uprising in April and May 1943. In the photograph “Napalm Girl”, the central position of the little girl, her arms crossed like a Christ figure, her nudity, and her cry all contribute to the power of the image. In the photo from the Stroop Report album, the child’s gesture of surrender, hands raised, makes for a memorable portrait. Placed in deliberate comparison to each other, these two children’s images with different historical roots echo and affirm their place in the collective memory. s

© Adel Abdessemed / Adagp, Paris 2020 © Primae / David Bordes


Adel Abdessemed

Of Algerian origin, Adel Abdessemed is inspired by politics, religion and current affairs, which he reinterprets in provocative works, stigmatizing moments of revolt, injustice, and violence: “As an artist, I am a witness of my time.” Defying all taboos, playing with varied mediums—bronze, barbed wire, dynamite, cannabis resin, marble, etc.—his works take the form of installations, sculptures, videos, performances, and drawings. 

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