A contemporary French installation artist and photographer with poetic and symbolic approach explored the diversity of modernized western supremacy and subjugation of non-western colonies, draw his life encounters living between two unlike and disparate living systems, developing a dynamic practice to examining the convolutions of cultural, historical, and social difference around the globe. Kader Attia installations offer an unequivocal narrative of the relationship between western and non-western cultures investigating architecture, literature, and history demonstrating the fabrication of identity contextual and circumstantial to the colonial conflicts and ascendancy. The artist used artefacts, discarded quotidian objects, and wartime ephemera transforming the view of the gallery into a reflection of an unaware and erroneous depiction of cultural history.
Kader Attia was born in Dugny France on December 30, 1970, spent his childhood living between France and Algeria, he went to study philosophy and both applied and fine arts in Ecole Superieure des Arts Appliques Duperre, La Escola Massana Arte I Disseny Barcelona, and Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs from Paris and spent several years in Congo and South America. The artist was driven by the idea of presenting a new form of cultural acceptance leaning beyond the restriction territories. Kader Attia’s experience with multiple cultural, colonial and ethnic societies foster his approach of research defining the perspective that societies have gone through, deprivation, suppression, violence, and affects sprouting individually and collectively.
Leading back to France, Kader Attia’s “The Landing Strip” photographic project targets and documented the lives of Algerian Transgender Sex workers. Defining the quest, the artist explains himself as a humanist photographer and photo’ing people leads you to discover the curiosities of opposite culture invokes the thoughts how they visualize the world, further stating that the aim to present something never thought or considered before, not only sharing the experiences but the people and their non-objectified opinions, trying to canvas the whole picture of their lives, presenting that even illegal immigrants those who are working as transgender prostitutes have flashes of delight and contentment while struggling as minorities.
Kader Attia artworks comprise of multiple media and continue to work across painting, sculptures, photography, collage, video, and installations. “The Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures” is the most famous and most emotional Attia’s artistries, contain the pictures of soldiers suffered the facial injuries during First World War patched back together by then cosmetic surgeries juxtaposed with displays of striking wooden statues defining the difference of approaches and to idea to repair in western and non-western cultures. In west procedure to restore the injured body to its original shape while in primitive societies it is opposite repairing things by leaving the injury visible. Attia challenges cultural institution to react in a different way and to allow emotions, contrary to him much of the art is sterile, obsessed with aesthetics of social context; he is trying to create more emotional installations aimed to draw an audience to reveal and incept the hidden reality.
Kader Attia’s “Ghost” is the installation of the group of Muslim women kneeling in straight rows and facing the same direction representing praying and covering themselves head to toe with thawb. With closer inspection one can find that these are made up of tin foil, making them alien and futuristic shimmering meditation, posture and ritual is equally seductive and hollow without individual identities questioning religious, nationalist and consumerism philosophies relating to the identity; perception and devotion prevalent in such societies on its wider interpretation of addressing the treatment of women invoke the thought of human conditions as helpless and temporal.
Kader Attia “The Scream” depicts that the artist is gifted with the talent of verbal and visual puns giving new meaning to the things and find echoes everywhere and relate the connection and emotions by displaying the hidden theme. The Museum of emotion has shown that the artist capacitating emotional depth.
Attia famous recent work features a video “Reflecting Memory” explores phantom limb syndrome, a condition in which one experience sensation of a missing body part. Mixing the videography and poetical imagery, the video contains interviews of various people’s including amputees, doctors, therapists, exploring the connection of medical phenomenon referring to the society and individual body leads him to win Prix Marcel Duchamp award in 2016.
Kader Attia’s sculpture has gained accreditation across the boarded depicting his signature style questioning the difference between western and non-western cultures worth mentioning are “Measure and Control”, “Mirror and Masks”, and “Shifting Borders”, his works are held in collection of the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin. The artist currently resides and works between Berlin and Algiers.
Kader Attia Art and Activist, Brilliant Ideas Ep 74