Adel Abdessemed: Trust Me (3 stars)

Adel Abdessemed: Trust Me

The Common Guild, Glasgow until Sat 7 Jun


One of Adel Abdessemed’s videos was rejected by the Gi’s committee for this exhibition due to its excessive violence. This further cemented his reputation as an artist not afraid to take risks and cause controversy. Much of his work is concerned with how the body politic filters its way into life on the street, exposing uncomfortable truths along the way.

Projected onto a large wall is a video of singer David Moss acting out the part of the outsider trying desperately to fit in. Filmed against a backdrop of urban wasteland Moss painfully shrieks a messy hybrid of national anthems from Germany, France, Algeria, Brazil, Britain and Russia, but what ensues is a complicated, uncomfortable brawl.

‘In Helikoptere’ (2008), Abdessemed playfully hangs by his feet from a helicopter floating over sheets of plywood with a piece of charcoal, trying desperately but pointlessly to mark the wood. ‘Also sprach Allah’ (2008) references Niezche’s atheist essay ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’, the artist being bounced up and down on an Arabian carpet while trying to write on the ceiling, seemingly revealing religious struggle and sacrifice, balancing politics and form more effectively than elsewhere.

Adel Abdessemed

  • 3 stars

Abdessemed's work has long been concerned with the ways in which the body politic filters its way into life on the street. This new series of videos is uneven, some balancing politics and form more effectively than others. 'Part of Glasgow international 2008'.

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