Kader Attia

Kader Attia

BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts

Left: Kader Attia, Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder, 2013. Installation view, Whitechapel Gallery, 26 November 2013–November 2014. Photo credit: Stephen White. Kader Attia, Gueules cassées, 2014. © Kader Attia.

December 13, 2014

Kader Attia
Culture, another nature repaired

25 October 2014–29 March 2015

Middelheimmuseum (pavilion Het Huis)
Middelheimlaan 61
2020 Antwerp
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5 pm 
Free entrance

Middelheim Museum
T +32 3 288 33 60
middelheimmuseum [​at​] stad.antwerpen.be


Kader Attia
Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder

16 December 2014–22 February 2015

BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts
23 Ravensteinstraat
1000 Brussels
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm, 
Thursday 10am–9pm
Free admission

T +32 2 507 82 00
info [​at​] bozar.be


This autumn the French-Algerian artist Kader Attia presents two exhibitions in Belgium. Next to a new site-specific installation at the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts Brussels shows a towering installation.

Rather than thinking of himself as an artist the French-Algerian artist Kader Attia (b. 1970) considers himself a researcher. His multi-media installations, which often are rooted in history and archival research, explore ideas around identity in a globalised world. Attia’s fascination for identity and the exchanges between Western and non-Western cultures is largely informed by his own multicultural background. He grew up in Algeria and the Parisian suburbs and subsequently lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela.

Both exhibitions are new chapters in Attia’s research into the concept of “repair.” Rather than thinking of repair as simply rebuilding what is broken Attia sees it as the invention of new hybrid forms. Old contradictions are often connected and turned into something new. Foregoing the typical Western form of linear thinking Attia pays more attention to other patterns. In his work Attia shows that instead of development, evolution or decay there are combinations, realignments, convergences, ramifications and hybrids.

From October 25, 2014 until March 29, 2015 at Antwerp’s Middelheimmuseum, Kader Attia is exhibiting 13  new wood sculptures in his ever-growing series of works on the theme of “repair,” showing how the meaning of objects and materials grows and merges historically, and how this is reflected in the exchange of cultures, often in the context of colonial domination or conflict zones. The busts are a collaboration between the artist and traditional craftsmen in Bamako (Mali) and Brazzaville (Congo). They were inspired by a series of photographs of les gueules cassées (the broken faces): soldiers badly disfigured in the First World War, many of whom were drafted from the colonies. This sculpture group is faced with a reinterpretation of the Al Aqsa monumental installation consisting of more than 350 cymbals, set up outdoors. The wind and rain ensure that the installation engages in dialogue with the natural elements and serves as their extension. That makes the installation the object of musical and simultaneously silent contemplation, a piece that makes us think about our place within the natural world and about the contempt with which we treat it today. 

More info: www.middelheimmuseum.be

In BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts Brussels Attia presents a work with which he reflects on the tension between religion and science in man’s endless quest for total knowledge, using the biblical story of Jacob’s ladder as his starting premise. In his dream the patriarch Jacob sees angels ascending the ladder that connects earth with heaven. The artwork is a towering structure, a library that fills the space from floor to ceiling. At the centre of the library is a cabinet of curiosities filled with rare artefacts, scientific instruments and books by authors such as the philosopher Descartes and the biologist Alfred Russel Wallace. There is a small staircase near the cabinet. If you look up at the mirrored ceiling you suddenly see the rungs of the ladder and find yourself in an infinity reflection of the library of accumulated human knowledge and science. Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder (2013) was commissioned by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and was exhibited in its premises from 26 November 2013 to 23 November 2014. 

More info: www.bozar.be

Middelheim Museum Press Officer
Rafaelle Lelievre: rafaelle.lelievre [​at​] stad.antwerpen.be / T +32 3 338 32 31 / M +32 497 44 73 20

Bozar Press Officer
Leen Daems: leen.daems [​at​] bozar.be / T +32 2 507 83 89 / M +32 479 98 66 07

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December 13, 2014

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