Adel Abdessemed

Born in 1971 - Algeria


Adel Abdessemed (born 2 March 1971, Constantine, Algeria) is a French conceptual artist. He works and lives in Paris and London.

Adel Abdessemed began his artistic production in Batna (1986-1990), then in Algiers, in the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, from where he left in 1994 consequently to the assassinate of the director Ahmed Asselah, and his son, inside the school.

Afterwards he lives and works in Lyon (École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1994-1998), Paris (Cité internationale des arts, 1999-2000), New York (P.S.1 Scholarship, 2000-2001), Berlin (2002-2004), Paris (2005-2008), New York (2009), Paris (from 2010 to nowadays).

Artist Adel Abdessemed refuses to be limited to a single ideology or medium—he works across video, animation, performance, and sculptural installation. He passionately tackled religious, sexual and hallucinogenic taboos subjects in his early works and his later exhibitions have often focused on the theme of global violence.

Although some consider his work to be performative, Abdessemed aggressively rejects this terminology, preferring simply to call his works “acts,” recognizing the term’s political implications. In an interview with Elisabeth Lebovici he stated, “I do not live between two cultures. I am not a post-colonial artist. I am not working on the scar and am not mending anything. I am just a detector…. In the public sphere, I use passion and rage. Nothing else, I don’t do illusions.”

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Palace, Contemporary Art Centre of Malaga, Malaga
Soldaten, Christine Konig Gallery, Wien

Adel Abdessemed, Yvon Lambert, Paris
Adel Abdessemed: Mon Enfant, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv
Adel Abdessemed: Merci, Blondeau & Cie, Geneva

Adel Abdessemed: L'âge d'or, Mathaf Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
Adel Abdessemed: Le Vase abominable, David Zwirner, London, England

Adel Abdessemed Je suis innocent, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Décor: Adel Abdessemed, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France [special presentation next to Matthias Grünewald and Nicolas de Haguenau's Isenheim Altarpiece]
Adel Abdessemed: Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?, David Zwirner, New York, USA

Adel Abdessemed: NU, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

Nomadic Resident: Adel Abdessemed - The Future of Décor, Onsite [at] OCADU Gallery, Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada
Adel Abdessemed: Silent Warriors, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London, England

Adel Abdessemed: RIO, David Zwirner, New York, USA
Adel Abdessemed: Les ailes de dieu/Le ali di dio, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy

Adel Abdessemed: Situation and Practice, List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Adel Abdessemed: Orient for Global Bordelo, Christine König Galerie, Vienna, Austria
Adel Abdessemed: Trust Me, The Common Guild, Glasgow, Scotland
Adel Abdessemed: Don’t Trust Me, Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, USA
Adel Abdessemed: Drawing for Human Park, Le Magasin - Centre national d’art contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble, France

Adel Abdessemed: Poursuite, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Adel Abdessemed: Dead or Alive, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York, USA
Adel Abdessemed: The Street Is My Heart, Libreria Borges Institute for Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, China

Adel Abdessemed: Conversation/Sirha, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Adel Abdessemed: Practice Zero Tolerance, La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes, France; Fonds régional d'art contemporain d'Île-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris, France

Adel Abdessemed: Holidays - God Is Infinity, Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, France
Adel Abdessemed: Happiness in Mitte, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England

Adel Abdessemed: Le citron et le lait, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
Adel Abdessemed: Habibi, Fonds régional d’art contemporain Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France

Adel Abdessemed: Nuit, Galleria Laura Pecci, Milan, Italy

Quarta estacio Benifallet-Vassivière/Adel Abdessemed, Centre international d'art et du paysage de l'île de Vassivière, Vassivière, France
Adel Abdessemed, Institute of Visual Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Adel Abdessemed, Galleria Laura Pecci, Milan, Italy
Adel Abdessemed, Project Room, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland


Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia Settore Arte, Venice

Everyone Has a Name, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv
Al desnudo. Coleccion Ordonez Falcon de Fotografia, TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Fantome, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv
Den Haag Sculptuur 2014, Den Haag Sculptuur, The Hague
In the meantime, the Narrative Artist, Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu, Sichuan
Myth / History Yuz Collection of Contemporay Art, Yuz Museum Shanghai, Shanghai
The Disappearance of Fireflies, Collection Lambert, Avignon
Nouvelle Generation, FRAC, Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque
Les yeux seuls sont encore capables de pousseur un cri, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv
Utopian Days-Freedom, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
Futbol: The Beautiful Game, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art- LACMA Los Angeles, CA
Art Protects, Yvon Lambert, Paris

Vues d'en haut, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France
Oeuvres De La Collection Philippe Cohen 20 Ans D'acquisitions - Passage de Retz, Paris
30th Council of Europe art exhibition - The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe Since 1945 - Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK), Krakow
Diffractions of Destroyed Design - Netwerk - center for contemporary art, Aalst
Prima Materia, Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy
Les Aventures de la Vérité, Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France
Terms & Conditions - Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Every Day Matters, Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark
In alle staten - Museum Dr. Guislain, Gent
Rever Le Quotidien - Manuel De Survie À L’ordinaire - La Brasserie, Foncquevillers
The Second Mediterranean Biennale / Sakhnin - Mediterranean Biennale, Haifa
Sous influences, la maison rouge, Paris, France
Laboratory of the Future: Together/Apart, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
Sous Nos Yeux (Partie 1) - La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, Mulhouse
Isaac Babel: Makhno's Boys - Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv

Mirages d'Orient, grenades et figues de barbarie: Chassé-croisé en Méditerranée, Collection Lambert en Avignon, Avignon, France
Glissement de terrain: Impertinence-Résistance-Survivance, Musée Ianchelevici, La Louvière, Belgium
Mediations Biennale 2012: The Unknown, National Museum, Poznan, Poland
7th Seoul International Media Art Biennale: Spell On You, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
Voices of Images, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
Explosion! Painting as Action, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
La Triennale 2012: Intense Proximité, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Neon, who's afraid of red, yellow and blue?, la maison rouge, Paris, France
Evil is here, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Biennale Benin 2012: Inventing the World - The Artist as Citizen, Centre Kora, Cotonou, Benin
Fruits de la passion, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Biens communs 1, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
Roaming Images, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale, Thessaloniki, Greece
Homage to Bas Jan Ader, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Seeing is believing, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
The House Without the Door, David Zwirner, New York, New York, USA
Big Brother: Artists and tyrants, Palais des Arts et du Festival, Dinard, France
Commercial Break, Garage Projects, 54th Venice Biennale: ILLUMInazioni ILLUMInations, Venice, Italy
The Power of Doubt, Museo Colecciones ICO, PhotoEspaña 2011, Madrid, Spain; Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China
Meeting Points 6: Locus Agonistes - Practices and Logics of the Civic, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon; Argos Centre for Art and Media, Brussels, Belgium
In Praise of Doubt, Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy

21st Century: Art in the First Decade, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
Sacred Spaces/Lo spazio del sacro, Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena, Italy
Negotiations - The 2nd Today’s Documents 2010, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Aichi Triennale 2010: Arts and Cities, Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya, Japan
Signs of Life: Ancient Knowledge in Contemporary Art, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland
Brouillon, Musée de la danse, Rennes, France
Perpetual Battles, BAIBAKOV art projects, Moscow, Russia
Languages and Experimentations: Young Artists in a Contemporary Collection, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy
Wystawa, The Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Les Mutants, Académie de France à Rome - Villa Medici, Rome
C’est la vie! Vanités de Pompéï à Damien Hirst, Musée Maillol, Paris, France

Barock - Art, Science, Faith, and Technology in the Contemporary Age, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina Napoli, Italy
Becoming Intense - Becoming Animal - Becoming..., Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, Germany
30 Seconds off An Inch, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, New York, USA
10th Lyon Biennial: Le spectacle du quotidien, La Sucrière, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, France
Qui a peur des Artistes? Selected Works from the François Pinault Foundation Collection, Palais des Arts de Dinard, France
Universal Code: Art and Cosmology in the Information Age, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy
Time versus fashion, Kunstverein Nürtingen, Nürtingen, Germany
Transmission Interrupted, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, England
10th Havana Biennial: Integration and Resistance in the Global Age, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba
Un certain état du monde? A Certain State of the World: A Selection of Works from the François Pinault Collection, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia

Political/Minimal, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
Medium Religion, ZKM|Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany; The Model, Sligo, Ireland
3rd International Biennale of Contemporary Art of Seville: YOUniverse, Seville, Spain
Political Correct, Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneva, Switzerland
7th Gwangju Biennale: On the Road/Position Papers/Insertions, Gwangju, South Korea
The Gallery, David Zwirner, New York, New York, USA
L’Argent, Fonds régional d’art contemporain d’Île-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris, France
Mes Amis, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Nuit des musées, Musée Rodin, Paris, France
God & Goods: Spirituality and Mass Confusion/Spiritualitá e Confusione Massa, Villa Manin Centro d’Arte Contemporanea, Codroipo, Italy
Flow, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, New York, USA
Shifting Identities, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland; The Contemporary Art centre CAC, Vilnius, Lithuania
In Geneva No One Can Hear You Scream, Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneva, Switzerland
Always Begins by Degrees, The Common Guild, Glasgow, Scotland

French Kissin’ in the USA: An Emerging Art Scene in France, The Moore Space, Miami, Florida, USA
Global Multitude, La Rotonde 1, Luxembourg
Passage du Temps: Collection François Pinault Foundation, Tri Postal, Lille, France
Um Atlas de Acontecimentos/An Atlas of Events, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
Versailles Off, Nuit Blanche, Versailles, France
Geopolitics of Animation, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain
10th Istanbul Biennial: Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary: Optimism in the Age of Global War, Istanbul, Turkey
Provokation? II, Fotogalerie Wien, Vienna, Austria
Reconstruction #2, Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, England
52nd Venice Biennale: Think with the Senses - Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense, Venice, Italy
Silence, Listen to the Show, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy
Her(his)tory, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
1st Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art: Heterotopias, Thessaloniki, Greece
Power Play: Adel Abdessemed, Mircea Cantor, Claire Fontaine, Artpace, San Antonio, Texas, USA Airs de Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Trans Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Fantasmagoria: Dibujo en movimiento, Fundación ICO, Madrid, Spain

5th Shenzhen International Ink Painting Biennial, Shenzhen, China
Yan Pei-Ming & Adel Abdessemed: Each From His Own Side, The Same Destiny, Galerija Mala, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1st Architecture: Art and Landscape Biennial of the Canaries, Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain
Wherever We Go: Art, Identity, Cultures in Transit, Spazio Oberdan, Milan, Italy; San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, USA
27th São Paulo Biennial: Como Viver Junto/How to Live Together, São Paulo, Brazil; Museo de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago, Chile
Peintures/Malerei - Art France Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
L'Image révélée, de l'orientalisme à l'art contemporain, Municipal Museum of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia
Choosing My Religion, Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun, Switzerland
Testigos/Witnesses, Fundación Montenmedio Arte Contemporáneo, Vejer de la Frontera, Spain
Hot/Cold - Summer Loving, Zache?ta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
Between Bodies and Object, Marta Herford, Herford, Germany
La Force de l’art, Grand Palais, Paris, France
Dak’art Biennial of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal
Notre Histoire, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

2005 Sweet Taboos/Episode 5 - Go Inside: 3rd Tirana Biennale, The National Gallery of Art, Tirana, Albania
Gott sehen, Kunstmuseum des Kantons Thurgau, Warth, Switzerland
Odyssey(s) 2004, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China
Dimension Folly, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy
Movimento/Movimenti, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Renato Guttuso, Bagheria, Italy
The Ten Commandments, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, Germany
L’Arte del Mediterraneo, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, Italy
Shake, OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria; Villa Arson, Nice, France
Miedo total, Fundación la Caixa, Barcelona, Spain [in collaboration with Sislej Xhafa]
White Spirit, Fonds régional d’art contemporain Lorraine, Metz, France
Periplo del Mediterraneo: Maestri e nuove espressioni tra Genova e Istanbul, Museo dell’Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti e Loggia di Banchi, Genova, Italy

Happiness: A Survival Guide for Art and Life, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Blood: Lines and Connections, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado, USA
50th Venice Biennale: Dreams and Conflicts - The Dictatorship of the Viewer, Venice, Italy; Villa Zerbi, Reggio Callabria, Italy

Puerto Rico Biennial, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nos troubles, Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Sète, Sète, France
Cosi Lontano Cosi Vicino, Fondazione Lanfranco Baldi, Pelago, Italy
Vidéotrafic, Ciné Lumière, London, England; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 33rd International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Een lege plek om te blijven, Poëziezomer Watou, Watou, Belgium
Le ludique, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Quebec City, Canada; Musée d'art moderne de Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
1st Tirana Biennial: Escape, Tirana, Albania
Mega-wave: vers une nouvelle synthèse, Yokohama 2001: International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama, Japan
Uniform: Order and Disorder, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York, USA

Paris pour escale, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Manifesta 3, International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Juste au corps: de la peau au vêtement, La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes, France
Carnet d’adresses, Musée de Louviers, Louviers, France

9th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and Mediterranean, Rome, Italy
Woolways 99, UR, Paris, France

Carte Blanche, La Maison, Douai, France

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