His multifaceted work draws on the know-how of craftsmen, musicians and writers in collaborative projects that challenge the very concept of the unique work of art or the individual creator. Afif, who describes himself as a “talkative conceptual artist,” uses forms of popular culture, such as music, to bring people together in a shared moment of creativity. Through the exploration of different media (performances, objects, sculptures, texts, posters, etc.), it provokes both the collapse and the expansion of the notion of creative paternity.
Since 2004, he has regularly commissioned other artists and writers to produce songs inspired by his works. These texts have become a key material of his work, the materialization of what is happening in the mind of the “watcher”, a process of interpretation inherent to the relationship between art and its audience.
His most recent solo exhibitions include: The Fountain Archives, Jumex, Mexico (2019) ; This is Ornamental, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2018); Paroles, WIELS, Brussels (2018); Ici., Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Düren; and Là-bas., La Panacée, Montpellier (2017-2018); The Fountain Archives, Center Pompidou, Paris (2017); Quoi? L’Eternité, Atelier Hermès, Seoul (2016); Vice de Forme: Das Kabarett, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2016); Das Ende der Welt, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin (2015); and Blue Time, Blue Time, Blue Time…, IAC Villeurbanne (2013).
Recently, Saâdane Afif was appointed as convener of Bergen Assembly 2022. He also participated in international events such as Documenta 12 (2007), the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014), and the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).
His work is in the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris; the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; the MUDAM, Luxembourg; the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt; the Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; among other institutional and private collections around the world.
He received the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2009 and the Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art in 2015.