The French artist Saâdane Afif (b. 1970) – recipient of the acclaimed Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2009 – is coming to the MMK Zollamt to stage the first solo exhibition of his works ever to take place in a German museum. The exhibition title was derived from André Breton's Surrealist work Anthologie de l'humour noir of 1940.
In his presentation, Afif will retrace African influences on the European avant-garde while also linking it to modern French art and literature. With a coffin model manufactured in Ghana, he will moreover respond to a custom which has recently taken hold in that West African country whereby figurally designed coffins serve as a form of commemoration of the deceased. By virtue of its shape, the coffin entitled L'Humour Noir at the centre of the MMK Zollamt show will make reference to the Centre Pompidou.
In keeping with his usual approach, Saâdane Afif has called upon well-known protagonists of the art world to write texts about the coffin, taking his own thoughts about it as their point of departure. The texts will be part of the exhibition and form the contextual key to understanding the work.
Visitors to the opening will have the opportunity to experience this context in a performance carried out on that occasion.