Elephant Ivory (Loxodonta Africana) on a wooden base
147.3 × 102.7 × 60.5 cm (58 × 40 7/16 × 23 13/16 in.)
Adel Abdessemed's Cry is the ultimate cry for help, the one inspired by every horror, the one that resounded on 8 June 1972 in Trang Bang, a few kilometres from Saigon, in Vietnam, emerging from the frightened throat of Kim Phuc, a nine-year-old girl fleeing American bombing and the burning of her body by napalm.
This image, captured by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut, has become one of the painful icons of the twentieth century, with its violence and tragedies. Adel Abdessemed (born in 1971 in Constantine, Algeria) has chosen to transcribe this universal image in ivory, in the manner of a religious statue, like the body of a transfigured Christ without a crucifix.
Abdessemed was twenty years old when the wave of terrorist acts began that sent his native country into a decade-long civil war. He left Algeria in 1994 after the assassination of the director of his school and came to continue his studies in France, at the Beaux-arts de Lyon, then lived in Berlin and New York. He now lives and works in Paris.
Loaned to the Musée du quai Branly for the Jacques Chirac exhibition in 2016, Cry is presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition "Au-delà de la couleur" at the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes in 2021.