Friday, February 1, 2013

Latifa Sayadi: A twist of iron(y)

Genetically manipulated something, 2007

Latifa Sayadi's metal sculptures have a playful character: entanglements, twists and foldings of the material are paired with word-plays and innuendos. Conceived as individual pieces or as series, Latifa Sayadi's works re-enact a situation, express a state of mind, suggest a human form. Although she defines her works as abstract sculptures, their focus doesn't lie in virtuosities and stylization of the form. What makes them abstract is their poetic and often ironic interpretations of reality.

Done in various materials, her sculpture surprises by the way one material meets the other, one brass detail fits within the body of the steel. Nevertheless, the sculptures don't work by contrast, but by surprise. Sayadi's art is not an attempt to gain an effect, but to express and trigger a discovery. In her view, balance is a zigzagging flight of stairs (Equilibre, 2012) and craziness can dis-place and display a “heart” of gold (Verrückt) .

Verrückt (detail)

While some of the single sculptures are built around a defining detail, the series play with the idea of reality and its multiple perspectives (Lonesome Tragedy and Lonesome Comedy). But the artist is not fixed on binary situations and the serial character of her work is a playful and insightful attempt to catch the richness of life (see Expression, Impression, Depression).  

Lonesome Tragedy, 2007

Latifa Sayadi's playing ground is quite large: besides sculpting metal she also makes installations and etchings. While the forged metal sculptures carry the memory of fire and noise which accompanied their coming into form, the etchings put forward a certain quietness and delicacy. In her installations, born out of a desire to react to and interpret real events which caught her attention, the evocative power of the chosen materials is reinforced by the works' titles (Immigrants leaving traces or Rue de l'Impasse). Be it personal experiences or serious political themes (such as immigration, land poisoning through bomb dropping, re-installation of dead-end regimes), her subject matter is always treated with a twist of irony.

Dictature globale, 2012

Immigrants leaving traces, 2011

The text was first published in: Latifa Sayadi, catalogue, simpact, Tunis, 2013.
Photos: ©Stefanie Gierke, Latifa Sayadi, Holger Ziefus (for the sculptures); ©Joerg Kretschmann (for the etchings).
Please visit Latifa Sayadi's website: 

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