Adel Abdessemed


Back to collections
Adel Abdessemed, Klan, 2007, Felt, aluminium and fiberglass plane noses, 96 x 120 x 127 cm, Art Jameel Collection.

Artwork Details


Adel Abdessemed






Aluminium, felt, fiberglass plane nose


96 x 120 x 127 cm

Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Work Description

Klan is wittily subversive in its appropriation of complex historical connotations and contemporary contexts. Ten cone-shaped objects of varying sizes have been adapted from the noses of aeroplanes. Abdessemed often references planes in his work, signifying instruments of post-colonial global unity and empty vessels that can be filled with meaning. Visible markings such as dirt, scratches and dents are left on the objects, referencing their former use as working planes. The plane noses are clustered together on the gallery floor, and circular black eyeholes have been applied to each one. The subtle humanisation of these inanimate objects renders each piece of fiberglass and metal meaningful, beyond the material from which they are made. 

There are also disturbing undertones in Abdessemed’s work; the loosely daubed eyeholes against the white backgrounds are eerily reminiscent of the masks worn by members of the Klu Klux Klan, a white supremacist group originally founded in 1865 following the American Civil War. Abdessemed has reduced the ‘Klan’ members to objects of disdain and mockery; placed on the floor and immobilised, and looked down upon by the viewer.

Artist Biography

Adel Abdessemed (b. 1971, Algeria) lives and works in Paris, France.

Adel Abdessemed is an Algerian artist whose work reflects the impact of growing up in Algeria amid civil war tensions and the related global media coverage. Through creative interpretations of drawing, video, animation, sculpture and installation, he explores personal histories and universal themes. Adel’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including at the MAC’s Grand Hornu, Belgium (2018); MAC Lyon, France (2018); Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montreal (2017); Festival de Avignon, France (2016); Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris (2014); Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2013); Centre George-Pompidou, Paris (2012) among others. His work has been presented Venice Biennale (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015); Istanbul Biennale (2007, 2017); Biennales of Havana (2009), Gwangju (2008), Lyon (2007), and São Paulo (2006). His work is within the collections of international museums such as Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; Musée national d’art moderne Georges-Pompidou, Paris, France; Fonds régional d’art contemporain, Champagne-Ardennes, Reims, France; Collection Budi Tek, Shanghai, China; Fondation François Pinault, Venice, Italy; and Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland.


Useful Links

View Exhibition