Critiques

In the Service of Repair: Kader Attia on Systems of Belief and ‘Reason’s Oxymorons’, by Robin Scher.

In 2007, the French-Algerian artist Kader Attia created an arresting installation with sculptures of hundreds of disembodied chadors—large pieces of cloth of the kind wrapped around the heads of many Muslim women—rendered in aluminum foil and splayed across a gallery floor. The piece, titled Ghost, tapped several of Attia’s recurring themes, from the clash of civilizations to belief systems reliant on what he himself calls “non-knowledge.” The poignant quality of the work owed to the paradoxical plea within its spectacle: a call for self-reflection invoked through a dissolution of the self. Attia has described experiences of the sort as an…
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Kader Attia’s “Reason’s Oxymorons”. By Andrew Stefan Weiner, 2017

Despite their enigmatic, aloof character, most of the works in Kader Attia’s current exhibition at Lehmann Maupin are relatively easy to make sense of. Whether in their medium (neoconceptual sculpture), their mode of facture (readymade assemblage), or their topic (cultural hybridization), they exemplify what we now expect of “global contemporary art.” This isn’t meant pejoratively; the sculptures are poetic, spare, and subtle, compelling attention while frustrating reductive interpretation. They show why the artist is receiving ever- broader acclamation, and they make clear that he deserves it. Attia’s inventiveness and spatial intelligence are evident from the show’s outset, most memorably in…
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In No Man’s Land. By Ana Teixeira Pinto, 2013

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, there were an estimated 975,000 casualties in Verdun. Roughly one century later, the space separating trenches has expanded to…
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Lost Boundaries. By Kobena Mercer, 2009

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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Kader Attia’s History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock. By Laurie Ann Farrell, 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 Holy Land. By Octavio Zaya, 2008

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

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 the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art (Untitled (skyline), 2007).  Even the scant volume that remains between these shimmering towers is little more than illusion, a mise-en-abîme of surfaces reflected off of other surfaces to present a spectacle of depth and light, to…
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Kader Attia. By Régis Durand, 2008

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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Empty and Full Against the Night Sky. By Courtney J. Martin, 2008

  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 blue curtain at the entrance and a white cabinet. Despite its lack, the exhibition attracted throngs of curious visitors who wanted to…
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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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The Dream Circus or: Why did the D.J. commit Suicide? By Tami Katz Freiman, 2007

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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