Kader Attia

(c) Michael Danner

Lives and works in Berlin and Algiers

Kader Attia (b. 1970, France), 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 with these 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.

In 2016, Kader Attia founded La Colonie, a space in Paris to share ideas and to provide an agora for vivid discussion. 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 to reunite which has been shattered, or drift apart.

Kader Attia’s work recently has been on display at The 57th Venice Bienniale; The Power Plant, Toronto; and ACCA Melbourne. Past solo exhibitions include “Repairing the Invisible” at SMAK in Ghent; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; “Sacrifice and Harmony”, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; “The Injuries are Here”, Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts de Lausanne; “Contre Nature”, Beirut Art Center; “Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder”, Whitechapel Gallery, London; “Repair. 5 Acts”, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Kader Attia took part in dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, as well as group shows at MoMA, New York; or Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris) or The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, just to name a few.

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


Residency Programs


Northwestern University Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Artist in Residency Award / USA


artpace, San Antonio / USA


The Banff Centre, Banff / Canada


IASPIS, Stockholm / Sweden


Grants / Fellowships / Prizes


Premio Joan Miró, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona / Spain

Yanghyun Art Prize, The Yanghyun Foundation, Seoul / South Korea


Prix Marcel Duchamp, Musée d’Art Moderne — Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris / France


Ruth Baumgarte Art Award, June 4th, 2016 at Berlinische Galerie, Berlin / Germany


Kunstpreis Berlin Jubiläumsstiftung 1848/1948, Akademie der Künste, Berlin / Germany


Paul D. Fleck Fellowship, Banff / Canada

Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship Program, Washington DC  / USA

Abraaj Capital Prize, Dubai / UAE


Cairo Biennale, Prize of the Biennale, Cairo / Egypt


Nominee for the Marcel Duchamp Prize, Paris / France


The Leica Special Prize / ” Une Algérie d ‘Enfance”, Paris / France


Symposiums / Lectures / Others


TrAIN Open Lecture series, Artist Talk, CCW Graduate School, London / UK

Figurer/Exposer/Représenter le Corps du Refoulé Colonial, workshop, Collège d’Etudes Mondiales/FMSH, Paris / France

Abounaddara – The Right to the Images, Symposium, Vera List Center, New York / USA

Usages Géopolitiques des Images, Symposium, BAL – EHESS, Paris / France

Repair, Artist Talk, Stadtkuratorin, Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg / Germany

Home Works, Workshop, Ashkal Alwan Academy, Beirut / Lebanon



Kader Attia – Special event, Whitechapel, London / UK

Kader Attia in conversation with Magnus af Petersens, Whitechapel, London / UK

Kader Attia in conversation with Koyo Kouoh, MMK Museum for Modern Art, Francfort / Germany

Kader Attia – Artist Talk, NICC, Brussels / Belgium

Collecting Geographies, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam / The Netherlands


Suspended Spaces – Discover / Uncover Modernism, Paris / France
Whitechapel, London / UK
Document, fiction et droit, Wiels, Bruxelles / Belgium
After Year Zero, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin / Germany
Inventions et réinventions des arts primitifs, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris / France
The Culture of Fear : An Invention of Evil, Witte de With, Rotterdam / The Netherlands
HomeWorks, Ashkal Awan, Beirut / Lebanon
Curatorial/Knowledge seminar, Goldsmiths, London / UK

Matters of Collaborations, Collaboratoire 3, Dakar / Senegal
Modern Monday, MoMA, New York / USA
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France

Suspended Spaces, Beirut Art Center, Beirut / Lebanon
Interface, Université La Sorbonne, Paris / France
Un Temps de l’Art, Université Rennes 2, Ecole supérieure européenne d’art de Bretagne, Rennes / France
Festival de l’Histoire de l’Art, Fontainebleau / France
Kunst Afrikas, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin / Germany

The Serpentine Map Marathon, Serpentine Gallery, London / UK
Warsaw Under Construction II, Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie, Warsaw / Poland
The British Museum, in collaboration with the Tate : Kader Attia : Void’s Geometries, London / UK
The Falmouth Convention, University College Falmouth, Falmouth / UK
After Post-colonialism: Transnationalism or Essentialism?, panel discussion, Tate Modern, London / UK
SITAC VIII, International Symposium on Contemporary Art Theory, Mexico DF / Mexico
Clinicas symposium, Mexico DF / Mexico

Eastwards = westwards, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht / Netherlands
Artistic Design of the ballet « Comedy of Change » by Rambert Dance Company / UK