Kader Attia: Culture, another nature repaired

Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, Belgium
25 Oct 2014 - 29 Mar 2015

Kader Attia: Culture, another nature repaired

Kader Attia: Culture, a natural recovery Installation view, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, Belgium October 25, 2014 - March 29, 2015 Courtesy Kader Attia and Galerie Nagel Draxler Photo: Simon Vogel

From October 2014 until March 2015 French-Algerian artist Kader Attia presents his first solo museum project in Belgium. Through his installations, Attia shows observers how the meaning ascribed to objects and materials grows and coalesces throughout history. As cultures interact, often in the context of colonial domination or conflict, they leave distinct and remarkable traces of this connotative interplay.

The exhibition Culture, Another Nature Repaired at the Middelheim Museum consists of two parts. The sculptures Attia will exhibit in Het Huis are busts, arising from the artist’s collaboration with traditional craftsmen in Bamako (Mali) and Brazzaville (Congo). They were inspired by a series of photographs of les gueules cassées (the broken faces): soldiers badly disfigured in the First World War, many of whom were drafted from the colonies. These portraits of mutilated war victims do more than just reveal the brutish nature of urgent medical treatment a century ago; under Attia’s touch, they are transformed into a new representation of human existence, forged from the fusion of influences arising in African-Arabian and Western sculpture. In these two cultures, the ethics and aesthetics of the human body are understood and experienced in two entirely different ways. Attia draws from both to create a new and inventive hybrid.

This sculpture group is faced with a reinterpretation of the Al Aqsa monumental installation consisting of more than 350 cymbals, set up outdoors. The wind and rain ensure that the installation engages in dialogue with the natural elements and serves as their extension. That makes the installation the object of musical and simultaneously silent contemplation, a piece that makes us think about our place within the natural world and about the contempt with which we treat it today.


Middelheim Museum
Middelheimlaan 61
2020 Antwerp

Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5 pm

Free entrance








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