Critiques

After-Flow: Kader Attia’s Postcolonial Topologies, Kobena Mercer, 2015

Writing published with the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne in the comprehensive monograph: Kader Attia, edited by Nicole Schweizer, edition jrp-ringier. Order   Post ... refers to the aftermath or after-flow of a particular configuration. The impetus which constituted one particular historical or aesthetic moment disintegrates in the form we know it. Many of those impulses are resumed or reconvene in a new terrain or context, eroding some of the boundaries that made our occupation of an earlier moment seem relatively clear … and opening in their place new gaps, new interstices.     Stuart Hall (1)   Encountering the two-channel slide projection in…
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Kader Attia – A Glissantian Reading, Manthia Diawara, 2014

Writing published in Kader Attia, The Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures, edited by The Green Box, Berlin 2014 Order   Lieux-Communs I was introduced to the work of Kader Attia at the 2009 Bamako Photo Biennale. At first, I was intrigued by his color photographs of a beach, covered with large sheets of white-grey concrete blocks, like somebody’s bad idea of a conceptual art installation. Then, on looking closely, one discovers that the photos are actually of a real beach, that of Bab El Oued, a poor neighborhood in Algiers, where the government had erected these huge concrete blocks to prevent young men…
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Repair as Redemption or Montage: Speculations on Kader Attia’s Ladder of Light, Kim West, 2013

Writing published in the Kader Attia Exhibition Catalogue : Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacobs Ladder, 2013-2014, at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. ©All Rights Reserved. Order 1. Kader Attia’s large, multi-media installation The Repair: From Occidental to Extra-Occidental Cultures, shown at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany in 2012, was articulated around a series of striking, unsettling juxtapositions. On the one hand, there were photographs of horribly mutilated, scantly reconstructed faces of survivors of the battlefields of the First World War. On the other hand, there were artefacts – totems, sculptures, toys and tools – from different cultures of the…
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Kader Attia: The Infinite Library, Emily Butler, 2013

Writing published in the Kader Attia Exhibition Catalogue : Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacobs Ladder, 2013-2014, at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. ©All Rights Reserved. Order The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. […] In the hallway there isa mirror which faithfully duplicates all appearances. Men usually infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite (if it really were, why this illusory duplication?); I prefer to dream that its polished surfaces represent and promise the infinite… Jorge Luis Borges, ‘The Library of Babel’1 A towering…
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The Cannibalization of the Other. Mirror, Art, and Postcolonialism in Kader Attia’s Repair. 5 Acts, Thomas Reinhardt, 2013

Writing published in the Kader Attia Exhibition Catalogue : Repair. 5 Acts, 2013, at Kunst-Werke, Berlin. ©All Rights Reserved. Order Acts of Cannibalism Around 1510 the Portuguese painter Jorge Afonso (ca. 1470–1540) put the final touches on a depiction of the Annunciation. The painting, in the Italian style, is an early exercise in central-perspective composition. The Virgin Mary and Archangel Gabriel kneeling before a lectern take up the foreground, while the Holy Spirit floats above the scene like a round lamp. A suite of rooms, stairways, furniture, and porticoes attempts (with quite limited success) to give an impression of spatial…
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“The Sound Like a Rumour”, Françoise Vergès, 2013

Writing published in the Kader Attia Exhibition Catalogue : Repair. 5 Acts, 2013, at Kunst-Werke, Berlin. ©All Rights Reserved. Order Never has the world been so rich, and yet never has it been so out of joint. The gap between the remarkable accumulation of discoveries in technology and science in the fields of biology, neurology, reproduction, archaeology, climate, astronomy, and of evolution is growing—and also between the ferocity of financial capitalism and the difficulties faced by societies in resolving basic problems (access to clean water, to health, to food). We are simultaneously told that the current globalization will bring a…
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Randonnée: Objects and Quasi-Objects, Ellen Blumenstein, 2013

Writing published in the Kader Attia Exhibition Catalogue : Repair. 5 Acts, 2013, at Kunst-Werke, Berlin. ©All Rights Reserved. Order The new Zenon, from Paris or London, called his method “randonnée” because two close and nonetheless differentiated relative words developed from an old word from the language of hunters: the French “randonnée,” wandering or foray, and the English “random,” chance, and because he wanted to unite the two meanings with each other once again, across the English Channel or the St. Lawrence River. Michel Serres, Hermès V: Le passage du Nord-Ouest Topos My place as a thinking being, as a…
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On void and what it contains, Jacinto Lageira, 2014

Writing published in "RepaiR", edited by Kader Attia and Léa Gauthier, BlackJack Editions Order   Any plastic material conveys socio-political meanings, even when its forms are clean, simple, seemingly anodyne and neutral, as though completely transparent. Donald Judd amongst others never ceased to assert this, thereby showing the error of excessively formalist readings of his work. In addition to the fact that a majority of receivers feigns time and again to separate content and form, content and appearance, or meaning and representation, such an attitude pushes us into the trap we wish to avoid, since the dichotomy is due in large part…
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Repairing, resisting, Jacinto Lageira, 2014

Writing published in the monograph Kader Attia: The Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures. The Green Box, Berlin 2014 Order   The legal notion of reparations for historical wrongs is a product of US jurisprudence that is now recognized and applied internationally. Its claim is that History is now subject to trial, that reparations can now be sought on the basis of historical prejudice materially, politically and symbolically. (más…)
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In No Man’s Land, Ana Teixeira Pinto, 2013

Writing published in the Kader Attia Catalogue : Signes de réappropriation, BlackJack Edtions 2013. ©All Rights Reserved. Order   There is no document of civilization, which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.   The term “No Man's Land”–originally used to designate the area between two enemy trench systems which neither side could claim as its own; a stripe of mud, gravel and barbed-wire, under gruelling artillery fire. During World War one, trench warfare resulted from the asymmetry between firepower and mobility, and quickly consumed many lives: more than 1,000,000 were wounded or killed in the Somme,…
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From Holy Land to Open your eyes, Serge Gruzinski, 2012

Published in the leaflet accompanying Kader Attia's installation at dOCUMENTA (13). Translated from French by Hoda Fourcade Zeid. © Copyright: Black Jack Editions Order We remember Holy Land (2006), this Canary seashore that Kader Attia turned into a cemetery. It is on a similar strand that motor-boats unship stowaways who are in search of a promised land, at least those who didn’t disappear swallowed up by the waves. (más…)
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Kader Attia’s History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock by Laurie Ann Farrell, 2010

Writing published in the exhibition catalog ACAP 2010 ABRAAJ Capital Price 2010, and in the Nafas Art Magazine (March 2010)  Aesthetic, cultural, philosophical and social theories all buttress the conceptual underpinnings of Kader Attia’s installations, photographs and films. (más…)
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Upon Pillars of Sand, Pillars of Salt… Kader Attia’s Holyland by Octavio Zaya, 2008

Writing published in the monograph Kader Attia, BlackJack editions 2009. Published on the occasion of the exhibition 'Black and White', 'Casbah', 'Oil and Sugar' & sculptures (Kader Attia) at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Huarte (Navarra, Spain), July 4th - September 28th, 2008 (www.centrohuarte.es). to order here The body of work which has won Kader Attia recognition and acclaim is customarily considered through the popular cliché concerning the simplistic opposition between East and West. (más…)
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Life on the surface of everywhere by Hannah Feldman, 2008

Writing published in the monograph Kader Attia, BlackJack editions 2009. Published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Black and White’, ‘Casbah’, ‘Oil and Sugar’ & sculptures (Kader Attia) at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Huarte (Navarra, Spain), July 4th – September 28th, 2008 (www.centrohuarte.es). to order here Space seems to be constricting in Kader Attia’s recent work.  What little room there was to navigate the already crowded cityscape that the artist forged out of more than one hundred scavenged refrigerators at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (Fridges, 2006) has buckled beneath the glittering refraction of the same slab-and-fridge skyline tiled with tiny mirrors at…
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Kader Attia by Régis Durand, 2008

Writing published in Léa Gauthier (dir.) - “French connection”, © 2008 BlackJack Editions to order here From La Piste d’atterrissage (The Landing Strip, 2000–02) to Rochers Carrés (Square Rocks) and Casbah (2008), Kader Attia has come a long way. (más…)
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Sleeping from Memory by Nicolas Baume, 2007

One motivating question informs all of Kader Attia’s art: how to find in his own experience a chain of ideas that will lead him to the poetic, transformative work of art. (más…)
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Lost Boundaries by Kobena Mercer, 2009

Written on the occasion and published in the catalog of Utopia and Monument, Exhibition for the Public Space, commissioned and edited by Sabine Breitwieser and Steirischer Herbst – Graz, Austria. A line cuts through a town square and divides public space in two. As a result of this action a boundary has been created, (más…)
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Life on the surface of everywhere by Hannah Felman, 2008

Space seems to be constricting in Kader Attia’s recent work. What little room there was to navigate the already crowded cityscape that the artist forged out of (más…)
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Empty and Full Against the Night Sky by Courtney J. Martin, 2008

Writing published in the catalogue of the exhibition "Signs of Reappropriation", ACA Gallery of Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta / Savannah ©2008 Order   Emptiness and Fullness   In discussing his notion of emptiness as a sculptural form, Kader Attia posits Yves Klein’s notoriously empty exhibition of 1958, La Spécialisation de la Sensibilité à L’état Matière Première en Sensibilité Picturale Stabilisée, Le Vide (The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, The Void) as a model. In the exhibition, Klein crafts a journey through the gallery in which nothing is spectacularly on view, save for a…
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The Dream Circus or: Why did the D.J. commit Suicide? by Tami Katz. Freiman, 2006

Writing published in Kader Attia monograph, edited by Yves Aupetitallot, published by  jrp-ringier, October 2006 Order Kader Attia belongs to a special breed of artists, who in another incarnation might have become anthropologists or scholars of culture. As a member of the north-African community in Paris, Attia examines the conflicted identity of his uprooted culture vis-à-vis the seductiveness of consumer culture and the Western world of material abundance. (más…)
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