Hlel Academy
Sara Sadik

11.09—11.12.21

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“Hlel Academy” explores the sentimental and romantic connections, relationships, interactions and demonstrations among teenagers via the schema, the mental model, for forming a couple that is massively shared within teen communities. Hlel Academy is a fictional training center located in Marseille and designed to welcome teens who have experienced romantic setbacks and provide training that will allow them to rebuild their lives emotionally and acquire all the necessary skills to find the one, appeal to her and win her heart. Hlel Academy takes in those who have been forsaken by love, broken-hearted young men between the ages of 16 and 20. The academy offers its students the unprecedented chance to express their fragility and connect with their emotions.
A leader in research and instruction in emotional and sentimental reeducation, Hlel Academy proposes an exciting new academic program designed to train the hlel elite of tomorrow. An intensive holistic curriculum marries theory and practice, during which five young men will be supervised and assisted from the initial meeting phase to the final step of wedded union.

Between idyllic video-game settings and reenactments of romantic reality TV broadcasts, the exhibition employs video, audio, and photographic works to show the young participants’ entire experience through the academy. The auditions of future candidates and jury members of Hlel Academy, recorded during a workshop on emotional and romantic reeducation, the confrontations of the players in Marseille’s Vélodrome to become the ideal “guy,” the doubts and introspection preceding khtob, the popping of the question, the marriage proposal, bring us right up to the ceremony itself in the art center space, appropriately duded up for the occasion. Focused on the expression of the emotions of young men, Hlel Academy also features the female gaze, which can be welcoming, kindly, and empathetic, but can also convey confining stereotypes and milieus, like the expectations young women may have before their ideal partner, for example. Hlel Academy portrays the adventure of romance at the tipping point in adult life, where it serves as the threshold. A place where discovery and recognition of the self involve the same with others—hlel or igo—and speech says something about the affirmation of a young generation in the process of becoming.

Sara Sadik was born in 1994 in Bordeaux, France, where she gratuated in 2018 from École supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux (EBABX). She lives and works in Marseille. Sara Sadik navigates in her work between video, performance, installation and writing. She works on French youth, especially addressing issues related to adolescence and masculinities. She documents their mysteries and deconstructs social mythologies in fictive narratives, filmed or performed, ranging from documentaries to science fiction by way of reality shows. Her latest projects focus on the study of friendships and romantic relationships of teenagers and young adults. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions, at 221 A (Vancouver, 2017), at Karma International (Zurich, 2017), at the Open'er Festival (Gdynia, 2017), at Roodkapje (Rotterdam, 2018), at the Wallach Gallery—University of Colombia (New-York, 2019), at Galerie Édouard Manet (Gennevilliers, France, 2019), at Manifesta 13 Marseille—The European Nomadic Biennial (Marseille, 2020), at Triangle France—Astérides (Marseille, 2021 ), at Munchmuseet (online, Oslo, 2021), at Magasins Généraux (Pantin, 2021). She showed her performances at the DO DISTURB Festival—Triangle France—Astérides program (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2019) and at the Parallèle Festival (Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille, 2020). She was in residence at Triangle France—Astérides (Marseille, 2018) and at the Luma Foundation (Arles, 2021). She presented several solo exhibitions at Galerie Silicone (Bordeaux, 2018), Continuum (Bordeaux, 2018) and Voiture 14 (Marseille, 2019). Some of her works are already present in public collections, like the Cnap, the Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, the Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. She is represented by Crèvecœur, Paris.

The CAC Brétigny is a cultural establishment of Cœur d´Essonne Agglomeration. Labeled as a Contemporary Art Center of National Interest, it benefits from the support of the Ministère de la Culture—DRAC Île-de-France, Région Île-de-France and Conseil départemental de l’Essonne, and with the complicity of the Brétigny-sur-Orge's municipality. CAC Brétigny is a member of TRAM and d.c.a. Some works shown in “Hlel Academy” were produced with the support of Manifesta 13 Marseille—The European Nomadic Biennial, of LAB360, Drosos Foundation, of Cnap, of Art center Triangle France—Astérides (Marseille), of the Région Île-de-France and as part of the Territorial Contract for Arts and Cultural Education (CTEAC) of Cœur d'Essonne Agglomération with the DRAC Île-de-France and the Academy of Versailles; as well as in collaboration with the closed educational center (CEF) Les Cèdres de Marseille and the Territorial Department for the Judicial Protection of Youth (DTPJJ), and the Lycée Jean-Pierre Timbaud in Brétigny-sur-Orge.

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