The third issue of the editorial discursive space for the Bergen Assembly triennial, conceived by Saâdane Afif, is dedicated to the manifold figure of the Bonimenteur, which is approached differently by the seven contributors.
Side Magazine is conceived as a site of research for the fourth edition of Bergen Assembly convened by Saâdane Afif. Yasmine d'O., who has been invited as curator of the upcoming edition, will be the executive editor. Side Magazine is dedicated to the seven characters in The Heptahedron, a play written by the French poet, essayist, and scholar Thomas Clerc in 2016. In order of apparition these characters are the Professor, the Moped Rider, the Bonimenteur, the Fortune Teller, an Acrobats, the Coalman, and the Tourist.
The third issue of Side Magazine sketches a portrait of the Bonimenteur. Coming from the French word bonir (to tell stories in a nice way), their speech is often exaggerated, and aims to please, convince, and seduce—illusionary tricks often achieving a means to an end.
Seven contributors explore the soul of this talkative figure: Aurélien Gamboni analyses Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Conjurer (1502); Polly Wiesner discusses storytelling at night among the Ju/'hoansi (!Kung Bushmen); a reprint of Marion Baruch's NAME DIFFUSION links commodity with cultural production; Helmut Draxler looks at the relation between art and its display; Deborah Bowmann harnesses neoliberalism's individuation; Jean Breschand puts Pier Paolo Pasolini's masterpieces in the frame; and finally, Jacqueline Barus-Michel explores belief and our desire for meaning.
Seven issues of Side Magazine will be released in the run up to the opening of Bergen Assembly 2022. A special eighth issue will be published after the opening. In combination with the existing seven, this collection constitutes the exhibition catalogue.
Saâdane Afif (born 1970 in Vendôme, France) creates installations made up of unexpected encounters between objects. These creations, of uncertain status, oscillate between function and symbol, between art and design, and provoke shifts of meaning that engage a reflection on today's industrial society.
Exhibitions include This is Ornamental, Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, Austria (2018); Paroles, Wiels Brussels, Belgium (2018); The Fountain Archives, Foundation Jumex, Mexico, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2017 and 2019) and Anthologie de l'Humour Noir, Museum für Moderne Kunst – MMK Zollamt, Frankfurt, and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2010 and 2013).
His work was included in documenta 12 (2007), 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2014), Marrakech Biennale 2014 (2014), 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale (2015), 1st and 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2005, 2015) and Taipei Biennial (2016).
He received the Prix International d'Art Contemporain de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco (2006), Prix Marcel Duchamp (2009), Preis der Günther-Peill-Stiftung (2012) and the Prix Meurice pour l'art contemporain (2015).
Edited by Saâdane Afif and Yasmine d'O.
Contributions by Yasmine d'O, Aurélien Gamboni, Polly Wiessner, Helmut Draxler, Marion Baruch, Deborah Bowmann, Lou Ferrand, Jean Breschand, Jacqueline Barus-Michel.