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Basement Roma, the project led by CURA. since 2012, is pleased to announce the opening of its new exhibition space in Viale Mazzini 128 in Rome, featuring the first solo exhibition in Italy of the French artist Sara Sadik, Xenon Palace: Crystal Zastruga.


Born by a wide collaboration between public and private institutions, Sara Sadik’s exhibition will then move to the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici, with a three-day performance (April 2023) before moving—with a second chapter of the show— to the Kunsthalle Lissabon at the end of June 2023.


Xenon Palace: Crystal Zastruga is a multimedia installation resembling a futuristic hookah lounge, a place far from the real world where the artist explores the magical dimension of childhood that takes shape in adulthood. Xenon Palace: Crystal Zastruga is a parallel and somewhat hallucinogenic world inhabited by fantastic smoky creatures, the Xenons, which appear from the fumes of hookahs. Through an immersive environment, packed with videos and sculptures, the exhibition takes us into the suspended dimension of Zabuza, the main character, played by Émile-Samory Fofana: a lonely man who has lost his family and friends, forced to live in a foreign, dystopian and alienated world, and that only by spending his days at Xenon Palace finds his haven of peace, capable of soothing the loneliness and sadness of his own existence.


“When speaking of Sara Sadik’s work, there is often talk of beurcore: in a sense, a reinvention of Afrofuturism based on the experiences and cultural references associated with the Maghrebin diasporas. But care should be taken not to reduce her work to an estheticizing of urban cultures. This bias constantly threatens contemporary art by acting as a passageway between marginal or peripheral modes of life and the universe of commerce or publicity. How to pay justice to such work without tumbling into a descriptive exercise or a sociological explanation?” (Félix Boggio Éwanjé-Épée and Stella Magliani-Belkacem, Sara Sadik, CURA. 38, The Generational Issue, Spring-Summer 2022.)


Halfway between fiction and documentary, everyday experiences, biography, video games, science fiction and French rap, Sara Sadik’s work creates initiatory stories in which young characters move eagerly within an identity process of physical and mental transformation.


With the Sara Sadik exhibition and the opening of the new premises – an addition to the original headquarters in Via Ricciotti – Basement Roma celebrates ten years of exhibition programming. Conceived as a physical extension of the editorial activity carried out by CURA., Basement Roma focuses on the research of the new generations of international artists, new media, digital culture and new languages, confirming its interest in the most current proposals of the contemporary art scene in its most avant-garde and significant expressions.


February 22, 2023 BASEMENT ROMA Viale Mazzini 128

Through April 21, 2023

April 2023, 2023 French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici Performance

June 28–September 2, 2023 Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon

Ilaria Marotta, Andrea Baccin

In joint curatorship with Kunsthalle Lissabon





Ultimate Vatos: Force & Honneur (Vol.1), 2022, video, 23’33’’. Courtesy of the artist and Crèvecoeur, Paris. © Sara Sadik

didascalia Ultimate Vatos: Force & Honneur (Vol.1), 2022, video, 23’33’’. Courtesy of the artist and Crèvecoeur, Paris. © Sara Sadik

didascalia Ils finiront dans des ravins, 2022, video, 10’32’’. Courtesy of the artist and Crèvecoeur, Paris. © Sara Sadik

didascalia Khtobtogone, 2021, video, 16’09’’. Courtesy of the artist and Crèvecoeur, Paris. © Sara Sadik