Adel Abdessemed (b. 1971, lives and works in New York and Paris) left Algeria in 1994, and he considers his “act” a political one: “When there is no peace at home, one must go elsewhere, otherwise the soul will die. The most important thing is to act, to resist, and to create in order to change the world.” Abdessemed’s work draws from a multiplicity of media, including sculptural installation, video, animation, and photography. While some critics label his controversial pieces inappropriate due to their often graphically violent nature, the ‘acts,’ as Abdessemed calls his politically committed artworks, consistently interact with larger global realities. Abdessemed’s apparent rage permeates throughout, calling viewers’ attention to expressions of brutality and frequently referencing failed immigration policies, exile, and displacement. His work has been exhibited widely, in such venues as the Venice Biennale (Italy), the Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), and Dak’Art (Senegal), as well as solo exhibitions including P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (New York).
"The sea," by Adel Abdessemed, is a video in which the artist faces the ocean on a rough slab of wood. A work that speaks about the role of the artist and questions of survival, "The sea" documents Abdessemed’s efforts to balance on his hands and knees on the wooden slab as it pitches with the ocean waves while he attempts to write the phrase “Politically Correct.”