The point of departure for the artistic practice of Kader Attia (b. 1970) – an artist who grew up in Algeria and Paris – is his rootedness in two cultures. In a comprehensive solo presentation at the MMK 1, he will investigate the far-reaching consequences of colonialism and Western cultural hegemony for non-Western cultures against the background of our globalized present.
In works of an often poetic quality, over the past several years Attia has concerned himself with the idea of “repair” as a constant of human nature. Particularly his spectacular installation The Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures at the documenta 13 (2012) earned him worldwide recognition for his work with this theme. Taking finds in ethnological museums as a starting point, he distinguishes between two different concepts of repair: the patched vessels, statuettes and writing tablets in the ethnological collections very openly display their joints and clamps, and with them their histories as objects. The Western conception, on the other hand, pursues the ideal of restoration to the object’s original state with no traces of later changes. Attia applies these two repair systems to widely differing fields of knowledge and techniques and denies them unequivocal classification by pointing out comparable phenomena in other cultural realms. Here the artist is concerned not with a conciliation of cultural differences, but rather with a keener awareness of our own plurality.
For the exhibition at the MMK 1, he is developing a new group of works that carry his concept of reappropriation and repair forward. Attia regards the presentation of his works in the museum as a decisive step in the development of his art as an instrument capable of dissolving stereotypes and thought patterns.
The exhibition is supported by the Freunde des MMK.
Opening: 15 April 2016, 8 pm