About Paroles

In 2004, Saâdane Afif had an exhibition titled "Melancholic Beat". For the first time, he commissioned someone else to compose lyrics about his work and presented the resulting texts on the walls of the exhibition. Afif has since repeated this gesture to the point that it has become his working method. All 191 texts written to date are gathered for the first time in “Paroles (Songbook)”, published for this eponymous exhibition at WIELS.

The lyrics are another person’s interpretation of Afif’s work and become part of the work itself. In this way, authorship is interactive, created between the artist and the audience. In “Paroles”, Afif pushes this mechanism further by integrating into the exhibition a “machine for interpretation” in the form of a music studio. The public is invited to take part in jam sessions inside Studio Paroles. The only rule: to use the lyrics contained in “Paroles (Songbook)”.

Afif invited Valentin Noiret to be the studio master for this project, to bring Studio Paroles to life on a daily basis. A wise and patient guide, he welcomes the participants, helps them to find their sound and their voice to interpret these songs. He records everything – sometimes joining in to accompany a jam session – and makes a selection of the highlights from each day, archiving them on this website.

Afif’s approach in “Paroles” is open, inclusive and emancipatory, inviting the public to action. 
In doing so, he underlines the fact that everyone can make his/her own interpretation of an artwork, in order – as he puts it – “to integrate this ‘foreign object’ into our collective history.”

On this website, you can listen to the various interpretations made in Studio Paroles over the course of the exhibition.


This website is created on the occasion of the exhibition

Saâdane Afif – Paroles
01.02 – 22.04.2018 
WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre 
Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels 

Curator: Zoë Gray
Studio Master: Valentin Noiret
Registrar: Ari Hiroshige
Production: Kwinten Lavigne, Fredji Hayebin, Cédrik Toselli
Project interns: Elisa Stockinger, Livia Tarsia In Curia

Concept: Saâdane Afif
Coordination: Livia Tarsia In Curia
Music recording and mastering: Valentin Noiret
Sound engineers: Gaëtan Arhuero, Gildas Bouchaud, Olivier Decloedt, Glenn Skrzyszkowiak, Denis Wouters and Maarten Mangelschots  
Web development: Pierre Stoffe/Base Design
Web manager: Alan Affichard

The project is accompanied by the publication Paroles (Songbook)
Concept: Saâdane Afif
Editor: Zoë Gray
Design: Olivier Vandervliet
Editorial Assistant: Livia Tarsia In Curia 
ISBN 978-2-930777-24-5 
Published by WIELS & Triangle Books 

The project Paroles is supported by:
Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; 
Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin; 
mor charpentier, Paris; 
Goethe Institut;
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen; 
Institut Français and the Embassy of France in Belgium in the framework of EXTRA; 
smARTplaces, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union 
WIELS is supported by:
Vlaamse Gemeenschap,
Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, 
Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/ Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, 
Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, 
Loterie Nationale/Nationale Loterij, 
WIELS Patrons, WIELS Club, WIELS Business Club 

Board of Administrators
President: Pierre Iserbyt
Founding President: Herman J. Daled 
Vice-President: Michel Moortgat 
Members: Bruno van Lierde, Frédéric Rouvez, Sylvie Winckler 
General Assembly 
Inge C. de Bruin-Heijn, Michel Cigrang, Bart De Baere, Chris Dercon, Ann Veronica Janssens, Dimitri Jeurissen, Sophie Le Clercq, Luc Tuymans, Richard Venlet, Jacques Verhaegen 

Director: Dirk Snauwaert
Director of Administration: Sophie Rocca 
Senior Curator: Zoë Gray
Education & Outreach: Frédérique Versaen
Public Relations & Development: Martine de Limburg Stirum
Curators: Devrim Bayar, Caroline Dumalin
Press & Communication: Anne-Gaëlle Solé
Registrar: Ari Hiroshige
Production Coordinator: Kwinten Lavigne 
Technical Coordination: Fredji Hayebin, Cédrik Toselli
Events & Infrastructure: Alice Vanbiervliet
Bookshop: Wim Clauwaert
Reception & Mediation: Nancy Junion 
Public Relations Assistant: Fran Bombeke 
Administrative Assistant: Adèle Bonnet 
WIELS Club: Michèle Rollé
WIELS Club Assistant & Residency Programme Coordinator: Eva Gorsse
Coordinator SuperVliegSuperMouche: Benoit De Wael
Interns: Eloi Boucher, Rosa Ekin, Zeynep Kubat, Georgina Papoutsi, Elisa Stockinger, Livia Tarsia In Curia