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Image credit Kader Attia, Ghost, 2007, installation view, Ghost, Galerie Christian Nagel, Antwerp, 2011, image courtesy the artist and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne © the artist, photograph: Sven Goyvaerts
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PublishedApril 10, 2017 at 04:14pm
Seen2432 times

Kader Attia

ExhibitionMuseum of Contemporary Art, Sculpture, Sydney, Australia
Wednesday April 12, 2017 - Sunday July 30, 2017 - Event ended.

French-Algerian artist Kader Attia (born 1970) works across diverse media including collage, photography, video, sculpture and installation. This new survey exhibition encompasses over a decade of the artist’s practice, focussing on key installations which are contextualised by video and sculptural works.

Kader Attia, Ghost, 2007, installation view, Ghost, Galerie Christian Nagel, Antwerp, 2011, image courtesy the artist and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne © the artist, photograph: Sven Goyvaerts
Kader Attia, J’Accuse, 2016, installation view, Sacrifice and Harmony, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt-am-Main, 2016, teak, steel rebar, single-channel digital video, projection, colour, sound, Courtesy the artist, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne © the artist, photograph: Axel Schneider
Kader Attia, Oil and Sugar #2 (still), 2007, single-channel digital video, projection, colour, sound, image courtesy the artist and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne © the artist
Kader Attia, Reflecting Memory (still), 2016, single-channel digital video, projection, colour, sound, image courtesy the artist, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne, Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Les Moulins, Beijing, Habana © the artist
Kader Attia, The Culture of Fear: An Invention of Evil, 2013, installation view, Injuries Are Here, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2015, metal shelves, antique magazines, books, metal screws, Courtesy the artist, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong © the artist. Photograph: Nora Rupp
Kader Attia, Untitled, 2014, installation view, Complementary Conversations, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, 2015, 116 stained glass fragments, metal screw hooks and fluorescent fixtures, Rachel and Jean–Pierre Lehmann Collection, New York, image courtesy the artist Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, and Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna © the artist
Kader Attia, Untitled (detail), 2016, neon, ancient wooden sculpture from the Sakalava ethnic group, wooden plinth, Mordant Family Collection, image courtesy the artist and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Les Moulins, Beijing, Habana © the artist, photograph: Marco Minò
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Exploring ideas around cultural exchange, appropriation, and the tangled relationship between extra-Occidental cultures and the West in the wake of decolonisation, Attia articulates theories of ‘injury’, ‘repair’ and ‘reparation’ through his practice. These ideas are expressed through two- and three-dimensional works that juxtapose broken objects, including African masks with visible repairs, alongside Classical statuary and documentary imagery of World War 1 veterans with significant facial injury and surgical reconstruction.

Absence and the void are further themes within Attia’s practice. Ghost (2007) comprises an installation of empty aluminium-foil casts of kneeling women in prayer. In Asesinos! Asesinos! (2014) over 100 doors are split into halves and presented in a vast, upright formation of A-frames. They recall bodies in a crowd that surge forward in protest, a sensation enhanced by the work’s title (‘Murderers! Murderers!’) and the silent megaphones mounted on top of them.

Attia’s installation The Culture of Fear: An Invention of Evil (2013) extends the theme of injury and response through interlocking steel shelves that suggest an archive or library. On the shelves are late 19th and 20th century books and newspapers that extend the colonial gaze into the present through their depiction of European encounters with a non-Western, uncivilized ‘other’.

Kader Attia was the recent recipient of the 2016 Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s most prestigious art award. Central to his presentation at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris was the extraordinary 48-minute film Reflecting Memory (2016), which forms a highlight of the current exhibition. Exploring themes of injury, therapy and the ‘phantom limb’, it opens up ideas around trauma and its unseen repercussions, for both the individual and wider society.

Curated by MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent, this is the first solo presentation of Kader Attia’s work in the Southern Hemisphere.

The exhibition will be presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, from 12 April – 30 July, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, from 30 September – 26 November 2017

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