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58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times Ocula Report 58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times 24 May 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

The 58th Venice Biennale, May You Live In Interesting Times (11 May–24 November 2019), certainly benefitted from low expectations, given the lacklustre curatorial of the previous edition, when different segments of the show were conceptually framed with titles like 'Pavilion of Joys and Fears' and 'Pavilion of Colours'. Add to this the...

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Zheng Bo Ocula Conversation Zheng Bo

Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo's social, ecological, and community-engaged art practice has, in recent years, focused on moving beyond a human-centred perspective to an all-inclusive, multi-species approach. He takes up marginalised plants and communities of people as subjects in his large-scale interventions, which reintroduce wildness into...

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Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended Ocula Report Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended 24 May 2019 : Sherry Paik for Ocula

The weather was clement for the annual Auckland Art Fair (2–5 May 2019), which was again at The Cloud on Queens Wharf. This year's edition was a get-together of 41 galleries, mostly from around Auckland and across New Zealand, with 5 spaces hailing from Sydney and the rest from Cook Islands (Bergman Gallery), Hobart (Michael Bugelli Gallery),...

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Kader Attia

b. 1970, France

French-Algerian artist Kader Attia spent much of his childhood straddling the Eastern and Western worlds of Algeria and France, and lived as a young adult in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela. With such a background, a key component of Attia’s work is the question of cultural conflict. An artist approaching his work with a multicultural lens, Attia is known for exploring the legacy of colonialism: the ongoing impact of Western culture and politics on the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the impact within Western countries themselves. Attia lived in the banlieues of Paris (suburbs populated by a high proportion of residents originating from former French African colonies) for some of his youth, and draws upon his first-hand experience to explore these themes and questions. He currently lives and works in Berlin and Algiers.

Working across a range of media, materials, scales and symbols, Attia’s many individual series at first appear self-contained. However, throughout his practice he continually returns to the overarching themes of the impact of politics, culture and cultural displacement, maintaining a sustained critical look at the complexities of modern life. Using unconventional materials—including couscous and plastic bags—Attia explores how non-Western people construct and shape their identities in the face of, in the knowledge of, or in the shadow of Western cultural hegemony. A notable aspect of his practice—one that enables an exploration of this dichotomy—is his focus on architecture: exploring the disparities and similarities between East and West in order to highlight—and even to rectify—the social and political divides between the two cultures.

Educated at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré, Paris; the Escola Massana, Centre d’Art i Disseny, Barcelona; and the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Attia has won numerous awards and exhibited internationally. Major international institutions showcasing his work in both solo and group exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Saatchi Gallery, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Leopold Museum, Vienna; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon.  

He has also appeared in multiple biennials, including the 11th Cairo Biennale; Marrakech Biennales 5 and 6; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; the 50th and 57th Venice Biennales; the 2012 Liverpool Biennial; and the 8th and 13th Lyon Biennales. He was awarded the Cairo Biennale Prize in 2008, the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2010 and the notable Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2016. His work appears in numerous collections across the globe, including the Centre Pompidou. He is represented by Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin and Cologne; Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; and Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna.

Georgia Messervy | Ocula | 2017
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Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Kader Attia, Héroes Heridos at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
1 November–22 December 2018 Kader Attia Héroes Heridos Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

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Gwangju Biennale: Imagined Borders Ocula Report Gwangju Biennale: Imagined Borders 20 Sep 2018 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

'I have felt persecuted for weeks by this same asphyxiating dream.' So narrates the forlorn Portuguese speaker in Kiluanji Kia Henda's film, Concrete Affection – Zopo Lady (2014), as city scenes and modernist buildings in Luanda flit past the camera's lens. The narration is pulled from Another Day of Life (1971), Polish writer Ryszard Kapuscinski's...

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Making Waves: Sharjah Biennial 13 in Beirut Ocula Report Making Waves: Sharjah Biennial 13 in Beirut 2 Dec 2017 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

Sharjah Biennial 13 (SB13), Tamawuj, is a constellation of events, objects and people that stretches far beyond the realm of Sharjah itself. Curated by Christine Tohmé, it was launched in January 2017 with an off-site project at Dakar's Cheikh Anta Diop University, where artist Kader Attia organised a series of workshops, symposiums and...

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Artful Manifestations Ocula Report Artful Manifestations 24 Jun 2016 : Diana d'Arenberg for Ocula

For the first time since 1996, this year’s edition of Manifesta was curated by an artist, German-born Christian Jankowski. Titled What People Do For Money – Some Joint Ventures, the labour-themed biennial was all about collaboration with unnamed specialists. Frankly, it’s not that different from the usual working process of...

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Jens Faurschou Ocula Conversation Jens Faurschou Co-founder, Faurschou Foundation

When American artist Robert Rauschenberg opened his first and last gallery exhibition in China, (he died shortly thereafter), it was with Galleri Faurschou in Beijing, owned by Danish collectors Jens Faurschou, and his now former wife, Luise. Jens Faurschou took Ai Weiwei to see the show and the acclaimed Chinese artist, impressed by both the...

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In Related Press

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Kader Attia’s Work Holds a Mirror to the World’s Injustice Related Press Kader Attia’s Work Holds a Mirror to the World’s Injustice Hyperallergic : 16 April 2019

LONDON — A cluster of snails are glued, like barnacles on a ship, to a disused metal post, which stands in a field of dry grass, a shabby apartment block looming in the background. In the photograph, Snails (2009) by French artist Kader Attia, the molluscs are not a culinary delicacy served on a platter with garlic butter, but a symbol of the...

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How Kader Attia Demonstrates the Radical Healing Power of Art Related Press How Kader Attia Demonstrates the Radical Healing Power of Art Frieze : 22 February 2019

In 2009, when Kader Attia visited Picasso and the Masters at Paris's Grand Palais, he was surprised to find that the show included works by Caravaggio, El Greco and Cézanne, yet made no mention of the African art that inspired Les Demoiselles D'Avignon (1907). His response was to dig out a mask he'd found in a Dakar market and cover it with mirror...

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Kader Attia at Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art Related Press Kader Attia at Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art Art in America : 18 May 2017

Kader Attia: Reflecting Memory began when Northwestern University's Block Museum extended an invitation to the French-Algerian artist to use the resources of the school's Herskovits Library of African Studies in the spring of 2015. The result was a spare and scholastic exhibition that rewarded the patient viewer with startlingly emotional content.

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Immersed in the Discrete Realities of the Sharjah Biennial Related Press Immersed in the Discrete Realities of the Sharjah Biennial Hyperallergic : 13 April 2017

'If the sky is full of stars, then somewhere there is another star, another sun, and around it, there must be other planets ... with ground to stand on, water to drink, a breeze, a moon, a decent sea, a sunset poised on the horizon, a sunrise waiting to happen.' So goes a passage from the text of the performance The Necessity of Infinity by Raqs...

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