Beirut Art Center presents Contre Nature, a solo exhibition by the Berlin-based, Algerian artist Kader Attia.
This exhibition is the result of an ongoing, extensive, interdisciplinary research around the polysemous notion of ‘repair.’ Through unexpected modes of re-appropriation and repair, Attia’s works raise fundamental questions on what binds and separates nature and culture in different spaces and at different times. Contre Nature consists of works produced in several forms and media, including installations, sculptures, collages, videos, slides projection, photographs, newspaper clippings, and objects.
A part of the show will also be dedicated to the body, a site of repair where political stakes are very high. Attia’s works engage with plastic surgery and prosthetics, African masks, the injured faces of soldiers who fought in the Great War, and transgender liminality. The visitor’s itinerary of Contre Nature ends with a repair intervention on the walls of Beirut Art Center.
In the context of the exhibition, Kader Attia will give a conference entitled From Material to Abstract: the Red Queen Hypothesis convering music and the notion of repair on Friday May 23 at 8pm.
Kader Attia was born in 1970 into an Algerian family in Paris, and spent his childhood between a Parisian banlieue and the neighbourhood of Bab el Oued in Algiers. He studied both Philosophy and Fine Art in Paris and spent a year at Barcelona’s School of Applied Art “La Massana” in 1993. His childhood between France and Algeria, going back and forth between the Christian occident and the islamic Maghreb, has had a profound impact on his work, and his time spent living in the Congo-Kinshasa, as well as Venezuela, has further informed his vision. His work tackles the relations between the Western thought and extra-occidental cultures, particularly through architecture, the human body, history, nature, culture, and religions. Attia’s first solo exhibition was held in 1996 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He gained international recognition at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Recent exhibitions include Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder, a solo show at Whitechapel Gallery, London / UK, Reparatur 5. Acts, a solo show at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin / Germany, Construire, Déconstruire, Reconstruire : Le Corps Utopique, a solo show at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris / France, dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel / Germany, Performing Histories (1) at MoMA, New York / USA, 10 ans du Projet pour l’Art Contemporain, Centre Pompidou, Paris / France, 4th Moscow Biennale, Moscow / Russia, The Global Contemporary. Art World after 1989, ZKM, Karlsruhe / Germany, Contested Terrains, Tate Modern, London / UK