Kader Attia: Show your injuries

Lehmann Maupin, New York, United States
08 Nov 2014 - 13 Dec 2014

Kader Attia: Show your injuries

Installation view of Asesinos ! Asesinos ! (2014). Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Lehmann Maupin, New York, presents Kader Attia: Show your injuries. The show will be at both of Lehmann Maupin New York locations and is Kader Attias’s first solo gallery show in the US. The exhibition deals with the legacy of European colonialism and the artist’s theories on the cycle of injury and repair.

Attia grew up in both Algeria and the suburbs of Paris, and he uses this experience of living as a part of two distinct and diverse cultures as a starting point to develop a dynamic practice that reflects on the aesthetics and ethics of different societies. He takes a poetic and symbolic approach to exploring the wide-ranging repercussions of Western cultural hegemony and colonialism on non-Western cultures, investigating identity politics of historical and colonial eras, and in our modern, globalized world. Attia assumes the roles of historian, anthropologist, philosopher, and ethnographer through his art-making process, and his nuanced international perspective informs the works on display in this exhibition.


exhibition view, courtesy Lehman Maupin

Exhibition view, courtesy Lehmann Maupin

Attia will construct an intricate installation at the West 26th Street gallery, displaying works dispersed throughout a labyrinth-like space. Focusing on Attia’s theories on the cycle of injury and repair, and how such actions are inextricably linked, the installation will feature works that address the legacy of European colonialism, the role that the imposition of Christianity played in the development of non-Western societies, and “the relationship between the political and the intimate,” as Attia notes. Visitors will follow a dedicated path through this immersive construction, engaged by the multi-faceted themes of Attia’s artistic practice. Highlights of the installation include the diptych slide projection Dispossession (2013), which explores Attia’s research on the Vatican’s collection of ethnological artifacts; Artificial Nature (2014), a floor sculpture constructed of many antique prosthetic legs; and a work composed of two large-scale reproductions of historical paintings depicting Catholic masses, Émile Jean-Horace Vernet’s The First Mass in Kabylia (1854) and Victor Meirelles’s The First Mass in Brazil (1860).

Exhibition view, courtesy of Lehmann Maupin

Exhibition view, courtesy of Lehmann Maupin

At Chrystie Street, Attia will create a new work titled Asesinos ! Asesinos ! (2014), a large-scale installation of over 100 doors split and re-joined as A-frame sculptures. Standing upright and confronting viewers as they enter the gallery, the doors recall a crowd of demonstrators activating a common space, a point that is affirmed through the megaphones affixed to the tops of some of the doors. The installation’s group of anthropomorphic forms alludes to the type of gatherings that have taken place in various public spaces across the world in recent times, demonstrations of clashing values about political views and social space and other politicized issues. The door can also be seen as a metaphor for barriers, confinement, and opportunities for freedom that may be experienced in various realms of modern society.

In addition to his Lehmann Maupin debut, Attia is currently having two solo exhibitions in Europe: at Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, Belgium (through March 29, 2015) and Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder at Whitechapel, London (through November 23, 2014).

The exhibition consists of two installations, one at each gallery location (540 West 26th Street and 201 Chrystie Street).



About the Artist
Kader Attia’s (b. 1970, France) first significant solo exhibition was held in 1996 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and since then his artistic career has gained major international recognition with inclusion in major international exhibitions such as the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), 8th Lyon Biennial (2005), and dOCUMENTA(13) Kassel, Germany (2012); and solo exhibitions at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, UK (2007), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2007), Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Huarte, Spain (2008), Savannah College of Art, Savannah, GA (2008), and the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (2008). Recent solo exhibitions include Reparatur 5. Acts at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013) and Construire, Déconstruire, Reconstruire: Le Corps Utopique at Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2012). other recent group exhibitions include Contested Terrains, Tate Modern, London (2011), 10 ans du Projet pour l’Art Contemporain, Centre Pompidou Paris (2012); Performing Histories (1), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); and Terms and Conditions, Singapore Art Museum, (2013.

His work was included in the 5th Marrakech Biennial (2014) and Dak’Art 2014, 11éme Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain. Other projects in 2014 include a solo exhibition at the Beirut Art Center, Lebanon, a residency and group exhibition at Artpace, San Antonio, TX, and group exhibitions at MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt and the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City. The artist lives and works in Berlin, Germany.


 About Lehmann Maupin
Founded in 1996 by partners Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, Lehmann Maupin has fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established, working in multiple disciplines and across varied media. With three locations – two in New York and one in Hong Kong – the gallery represents artists from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Known for championing artists who create groundbreaking and challenging forms of visual expression, Lehmann Maupin presents work highlighting personal investigations and individual narratives through conceptual approaches that often address such issues as gender, class, religion, history, politics, and globalism.


Lehmann Maupin
540 West 26th Street & 201 Chrystie Street, New York




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