Kader Attia | the artist
The artist Kader Attia
Born 1970, Dugny, Seine Saint-Denis, France.
Lives and works in Paris, .
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Né à Dugny en 1970 et ayant grandi à Garges-les-Gonesses/Sarcelles, Abdelkader Franck Attia s’est toujours entendu dire "si le fascisme passe, tu seras le premier expulsé". Musulman, chrétien et juif, son nom est à l’image de son identité ; ou plutôt de ses identités…
"Kader Attia presents, here, an installation whose title is taken from the English expression flying rats, which refers to pigeons : the visitors find themselves face to face with a birdcage containing 150 pigeons and 45 children made from moose mixed with compacted bird grain…
His new work also evokes the theme of absence. Attia grew up in a Parisian suburb, the child of Algerian immigrants. His recollections of sleeping five kids to a room, on beds made of wooden boards and pieces of cheap foam, inspire his work for the ICA. A crowded dormitory has been created in the gallery, made with the help of students from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the ICA Teen Arts Council. The students contributed through their labor and also their form, as they traced the outlines of their own bodies lying on the foam, which were then dug out by hand. Melancholic, even macabre, the impressions resonate with the memory of bodies now missing.
Kader Attia is a French artist of Algerian descent who grew up in the immigrant banlieues of Paris, sites of poverty, crime and, in 2005, massive rioting. Attias excellent exhibition included five lush C-print photographs of Algerians sitting on huge, jumbled concrete blocks at a beach in Algiers that locals call Rochers Carrés (Square Rocks). In each photograph, you see one or two young men or teenagers gazing pensively at the Mediterranean and beyond, presumably toward Europe and its questionable promise of a better life…