artist / participant

press release

The Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts is hosting a major exhibition showcasing the French-Algerian artist Kader Attia (born in 1970 in Dugny, near Paris, now lives and works in Berlin and Algiers). The event, curated in close collaboration with the artist himself, is his frst solo exhibition in Switzerland.

Kader Attia draws on a broad range of media from installations to photography and video for his striking explorations of clashes and exchanges between culture, politics, and identity. His artistic research is heavily infuenced by his own experience of growing up in France and Algeria and time spent as an adult in Venezuela and Congo. His work offers a poetic yet highly explicit reading of the relationships between Western thought and non-Western cultures, particularly through architecture, the human body, history, and culture.

Kader Attia’s work over a span of nearly two decades reveals a growing preoccupation with the issue of repair, understood in its twofold meaning of repairing an object or healing a wound and making recompense for the harm done. This explains the signifcance in his oeuvre of the object and the archive as tangible traces of History and of wounds that demand reparation. He turns the installation space not only into a memorial space, but also a place for rethinking the intrinsic bonds linking political, personal, and aesthetic (hi)stories that at frst glance might appear to be unconnected. The Lausanne exhibition offers a rich panorama of Attia’s oeuvre, from his installations, videos, and slide shows to his canvases and collages.

Kader Attia is a well-established name in the contemporary art world, drawing international attention at the fftieth Venice Biennale in 2003, the eighth Lyon Biennale in 2005, and dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel in 2012, alongside numerous solo exhibitions in Boston, Beirut, Berlin, Paris, New York, London, and elsewhere. Yet to date there has been no solo exhibition of his work in Switzerland. The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne is delighted to be hosting the frst exhibition to showcase Kader Attia’s art in the country as part of its series of solo exhibitions devoted to major contemporary artists, with past events including artists of the stature of Tom Burr, Alfredo Jaar, Renée Green, Nalini Malani, and Esther Shalev-Gerz.

Kader Attia
The catalogue is a major reference work in French and English, edited by Nicole Schweizer, with essays by Noémie Etienne (Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York) and Kobena Mercer (Department of the History of Art, Yale University, New Haven), and an interview with the artist by Monique Jeudy-Ballini and Brigitte Derlon (CNRS, Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, Collège de France, Paris).