OCAD University

OCADU welcomes Nomadic Resident Adel Abdessemed

Artist creates new work for Onsite [at] OCADU Gallery, gives free public talk

(Toronto — November 15, 2010) OCAD University's Faculty of Art and Onsite [at] OCADU gallery welcome contemporary artist Adel Abdessemed as the fifth participant in the Nomadic Residents program, from November 22 to 26. As part of his residency, Abdessemed will conduct workshops and critiques with undergraduate and graduate students, install his exhibition, and present a free public lecture on Thursday, November 25 at 8 p.m.

The residency dovetails with the artist's first solo exhibition in Canada, featuring the world premiere of The Future of Décor, a video commissioned by Onsite [at] OCADU, as well as the North American premiere of his video Rio (2010), recent sculptural works, and a site-specific installation. The exhibition launches during Abdessemed’s residency and continues until February 2011.

Born in Constantine, Algeria, in 1971 and educated at l’École nationale des Beaux-Arts (Lyon) and Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris), Adel Abdessemed exploded onto the international art scene in the mid-1990s as France’s most exciting artist in over a decade. His expansive practice incorporates drawing, video, ceramics, performance, installation and other media into a visual language that ranges from subtle and sentimental to bombastic and outrageous, often probing the awkward gap between what we believe to be good and what we know to be true. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world, including at the 2007 and 2009 Venice Biennials, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Guangzhou Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S. 1, and MIT’s List Center for the Visual Arts. He is represented by David Zwirner and divides his time between New York, Paris, and Constantine.

“The Nomadic Residents program aims to enrich learning opportunities by supporting discussions around the interaction of art with ethics, social responsibility and freedom of expression,” explains Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University. “Abdessemed’s provocative works confront uncomfortable truths about ourselves that challenge us to think critically about humanity, diversity, culture and idealism, and his visit will offer a unique learning opportunity for our students.”

Nomadic Resident: Adel Abdessemed
Residency: November 22 to 26
Free public lecture: Thursday, November 25, 8 p.m.
OCAD University Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto

Exhibition (Onsite [at] OCADU): Adel Abdessemed: The Future of Décor
November 26 to February 13, 2011
Reception: Friday, November 26, 7 to 10 p.m.
Curator’s Tour with Charles Reeve: Thursday, December 2, 6:30 p.m.

Onsite [at] OCADU
Level 2, 100 McCaul Street
416-977-6000 Ext. 265 | www.ocad.ca/onsite
Gallery hours: Tuesdays to Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
Saturdays and Sundays, 12 to 6 p.m.

Nomadic Residents is generously supported by the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

Abdessemed’s exhibition is generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council, culturesfrance and the French Consulate in Toronto.

All are welcome and all events are free, however lecture seating is limited and guests are advised to arrive early.

About the Artist:
Adel Abdessemed was born in Constantine, Algeria, in 1971. Graduating from high school in 1993, he hoped to study art in Algeria. However, this became impossible in a climate of intolerance that led to the assassination of intellectuals, judges, journalists and artists — including the director of the school where Abdessemed planned to attend. He then moved to France, where he studied at the École nationale des beaux-arts de Lyon and Cité internationale des arts (Paris) before moving to New York in 2000. The artist has recently returned to practice in Paris. Abdessemed has shown in solo and group exhibitions around the world, including at the 2007 and 2009 Venice Biennials, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Guangzhou Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S. 1 in New York, and the List Center for the Visual Arts at MIT. This fall, he will be featured in the Aichi Triennale 2010: Art and Cities, Aichi Arts Center in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, and his exhibition Silent Warriors will run at Parasol Unit in London (UK) from September 22 to November 14. He is represented by David Zwirner Gallery in New York (www.davidzwirner.com).

About Nomadic Residents – International Residencies at OCADU
Nomadic Residents aims to inspire and influence the OCAD University community and the public by featuring artists and thinkers from around the world whose work questions issues such as travel, mobility, displacement, dislocation, and homelessness, as well as the speed or instability of modern life. In bringing these innovative and diverse individuals to take up temporary residence at OCADU, Nomadic Residents joins here to there, the local to the global and the provisional and the permanent.

Nomadic Residents was launched with the generously support by Partners in Art in 2006 with Rirkrit Tiravanija. Other residents include Ann Hamilton (2007) and ORLAN (2008) and Hal Foster (2009). The series continues with the generous support of the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.

About Onsite [at] OCADU
Formerly called “The Professional Gallery,” Onsite [at] OCADU (www.ocad.ca/onsite) was launched in 2007 with Rirkrit’s first solo exhibit in Canada. Since then, it has hosted solo and group shows featuring dozens of nationally and internationally significant contemporary artists and designers, enriching OCADU’s educational experience while helping to make this university an indispensable cultural resource for the region.

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information and images, contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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