03 November 24 December 2023

Parisian graffiti artist SAEIO (1987-2017) is known for his “broad pictorial approach”, which allows him to interact with the ordinary reality of urban space. Using different forms of expression (writing, drawing, painting, photography, video, choreography, etc.), he highlights the random conditions inherent in this artistic practice, which has an illegal status, and the ephemeral nature of these works created in the public space.

In 2014, SAEIO was fined €50,000 for “wilful damage to public property, unauthorised access, and trespassing on railway tracks.” The installation DO UT DES (“I give that you might give” in Latin) is a sort of representation of his trial as legal recognition of his work.

The inventory of the hundred or so “acts of vandalism and damage”, with detailed descriptions illustrated by photographs, brings together an array of material exhibits. It is presented as a detailed catalogue of the artist’s work, while the estimated cost of cleaning them becomes their selling price.

In this process of misappropriation, SAEIO questions our relationship with photography and its documentary status, by playing on its traditional uses: the photograph produced as legal evidence is here assimilated to its function as a reproduction of a work of art. This process of re-appropriation extends to exploring the formal qualities of certain images, which inspire him to create silk-screen prints. 

Exhibition presented with the kind collaboration of the parents of SAEIO, Nicolas Dolto and Peinture Editions
Curated by Anne Lacoste, Director of the Institut pour la photographie