paris

Saâdane Afif

Palais de Tokyo

A little “new French theory” first of all: “Plasticity today demands access to the concept.” In several works, including La Plasticité au soir de l’écriture: Dialectique, destruction, déconstruction (Éditions Léo Scheer, 2005), the philosopher Catherine Malabou attempts to elucidate an increasingly pregnant “motor scheme” in philosophy, art, neurobiology, and psychoanalysis: plasticity. While the neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux uses the term “plasticity of the brain” to refer to the capacity of synapses to form or reform a bit of information, Malabou’s concept of plasticity refers to a being’s strategy and capacity to be transgressed, to be other—a dual, contradictory yet inseparable movement involving the sudden emergence and annihilation of form.

As it happens, this dynamic of plasticity is fully at work in Saâdane Afif ’s exhibition “Lyrics.” Over the past year or so, in

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