Kader Attia

Kader Attia, artiste a lancé depuis deux ans le lieu LA COLONIE (barré) dans le 10ème arrondissement de Paris. Photo by Camille Millerand

Kader Attia grew up in Paris and in Algeria. Preceding his studies at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and at Escola Massana, Centre d’Art i Disseny in Barcelona, he spent several years in Congo and in South America.

The experience of living between different cultures, the histories of which over centuries have been characterised by rich trading traditions, colonialism and multi-ethnic societies, has fostered Kader Attia’s intercultural and interdisciplinary approach of research. For many years, he has been exploring the perspective that societies have on their history, especially as regards experiences of deprivation and suppression, violence and loss, and how this affects the evolving of nations and individuals — each of them being connected to collective memory. His socio-cultural research has led Kader Attia to the notion of Repair, a concept he has been developing philosophically in his writings and symbolically in his oeuvre as a visual artist. With the principle of Repair being a constant in nature — thus also in humanity —, any system, social institution or cultural tradition can be considered as an infinite process of Repair, which is closely linked to loss and wounds, to recuperation and re-appropriation. Repair reaches far beyond the subject and connects the individual to gender, philosophy, science, and architecture, and also involves it in evolutionary processes in nature, culture, myth and history.

Following the idea of catharsis, his work aims at Art’s re-appropriation of the field of emotion that, running from ethics to aesthetics, from politics to culture, links individuals and social groups through emotional experience, and that is in danger of being seized by recent nationalist movements

In 2016, Kader Attia founded La Colonie, a space in Paris to share ideas and to provide an agora for vivid discussion, that extends his praxis from representation to action. Focussing on decolonialisation not only of peoples but also of knowledge, attitudes and practices, it aspires to de-compartmentalise knowledge by a trans-cultural, trans-disciplinary and trans-generational approach. Driven by the urgency of social and cultural reparations, it aims at reuniting which has been shattered, or drift apart.

Kader Attia’s work has been shown in group shows and biennials such as the 12th Shanghai Biennial; the 12th Gwangju Biennial; the 12th Manifesta, Palermo; the 57th Venice Biennial; dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel; Met Breuer, New York; Kunsthalle Wien; MoMA, New York; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris, or The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York – just to name a few. Notable solo exhibitions include “The Museum of Emotion”, The Hayward Gallery, London; “Scars Remind Us that Our Past is Real”, Fundacio Joan Miro in Barcelona; “Roots also grow in concrete”, MacVal in Vitry-sur-Seine; „The Field of Emotion“, The Power Plant, Toronto; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; SMAK, Gent; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts de Lausanne; Beirut Art Center; Whitechapel Gallery, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin.

In 2016, Kader Attia was awarded with the Marcel Duchamp Prize, followed in 2017 by the Prize of the Miró Foundation, Barcelona, and the Yanghyun Art Prize, Seoul.

Schizophrenic Melancholia, 2018, Exhibition view “The Museum of Emotion”, Hayward Gallery, London, UK, 2019
Courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Photo : Marc Domage
Shifting Borders, 2018, 3-channel HD digital film on 4 screens, 16:9, colour, sound each, vintage chairs and leg prosthesis. “The Paradoxes of Modernity”, 43:19 min., “Recycling Colonialism”, 32:12 min., “Catharsis: The Living and the Dead are Looking for Their Bodies”, 48:53 min., Installation view at the 8th Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, Korea, 2018.
SHARE
Previous articleMaya M Workman
Next articleWalter Steding

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

2 COMMENTS

  1. […] Kader Attia just arrived home from a trip to the U.S. where he co-organized a seminar on the relation between the secular and the spiritual as related to trauma at U.C. Berkeley. Some of Attia’s work draws from Abel Gance’s critique of the Nazis and links this to the rise of darkness and fascism we see today. One question he tries to answer is, “what is the responsibility of being an artist in a society?” To hear his discussion of this, and much more, listen to the complete interview. […]

  2. […] Kader Attia just arrived home from a trip to the U.S. where he co-organized a seminar on the relation between the secular and the spiritual as related to trauma at U.C. Berkeley. Some of Attia’s work draws from Abel Gance’s critique of the Nazis and links this to the rise of darkness and fascism we see today. One question he tries to answer is, “what is the responsibility of being an artist in a society?” To hear his discussion of this, and much more, listen to the complete interview. […]