Kader Attia

Commisssioned Artist: Learning From

Kader Attia, born 1970 in France, lives and works in Berlin and Algiers. Having grown up in both Algeria and the suburbs of Paris, he uses his experience of living as a part of two cultures as a starting point to develop a dynamic practice that reflects on the aesthetics and ethics of different cultures. Kader takes a poetic and symbolic approach to exploring the wide-ranging repercussions of Western modern cultural hegemony and colonialism on non-Western cultures, investigating the identity politics of the historical and colonial eras, from tradition to modernity, in light of our globalized world, of which he creates a genealogy. His research focuses on the concept of repair as a constant in human nature, about which the Western and non-Western worlds have always had opposing visions. From culture to nature, from gender to architecture, from science to philosophy, every system of life is an infinite process of repair.

In 2016, Kader Attia founded La Colonie, a space for discussion and ideas in Paris that focuses on decolonization not just of peoples, but also of knowledge, attitudes and practices. His work strives for an opening up of knowledge by means of a transcultural, transdisciplinary and trans-generational approach. Driven by the necessity of social and cultural repairs. La Colonie aims to reunite what has been shattered or has drifted apart. Recent exhibitions include Sacrifice and Harmony, a solo show at Museum für moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; The Injuries are Here, a solo show at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts de Lausanne; Culture, Another Nature Repaired, an exhibition at the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp; Performing Histories (1) at MoMA, New York; Contested Terrains at Tate Modern, London; The Field of Emotion, The Power Plant, Toronto; Les racines poussent aussi dans le béton, MAC/Val, Vitry-sur-Seine; Scars remind us that our past is real, Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona; 12th Manifesta, Palermo; 12th Gwangju Biennial", Gwangju; and 12th Shanghai Bienniale, Shanghai.


For Learning From, Kader is working on a new production with which he will investigate the complex (mis-)interpretations and translations of African arts and crafts. 


Photo: Michael Danner