Berlin (DE) / Algiers (DZA)

Kader Attia

* 1970 in Paris, France

lives and works in Berlin, Germany  and Algiers, Algeria

Attia spent his childhood between Parisian suburbs and Bab el Oued on the northern coast of Algeria. In a poetic and symbolic manner, he examines the far-reaching effects of modern, Western, cultural hegemony and colonialism, and raises questions pertaining to historical and colonial identity politics. For a long period of time, his main research focus has been on the concept of repairing as a human constant; culture and nature, gender and architecture, natural sciences and philosophy—everything is in an endless process of repair.

Attia’s works have been shown at numerous venues in Europe, North America and Africa, including the 50th Biennale di Venezia, the dOCUMENTA (13) the MoMA in New York.



Collage, black-and-white photograph on cardboard, Courtesy of Galerie Nagel Draxler

In his series entitled Corps Reconstruit, Kader Attia creates collages of his own early photographic works dealing with the liberation of the body, which is determined by birth and the sociocultural context. Attia searches for utopian bodies as a means of resistance. In the 1990s, he already photographed Algerian transsexuals in Paris. Kader Attia regards the body in the tensional field of post-colonial power relations, manifesting themselves in threats of deportation, of being murdered by Islamists in Algeria, or the necessity of pursuing sex work. The body itself becomes a “boundary object” between genders and cultures.