Berlin Biennale

Kader Attia Appointed as Curator of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Artist Kader Attia will curate the 12th Berlin Biennale, that will take place in 2022.

Kader Attia, Curator 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
Photo: F. Anthea Schaap

Kader Attia, Curator 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art Photo: F. Anthea Schaap

For over two decades, Kader Attia has worked with the concept of “repair” in his artistic practice. It allows him to investigate the dialectic between destruction and repair, in which repair is understood as a way of cultural resistance as well as a means for a society or a subject to reappropriate their history and identity.

Raised in Paris and Algeria, Kader Attia (born 1970 in Dugny, FR) studied philosophy and art at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré and the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, FR, as well as at the Escola Massana, Art and Design Centre in Barcelona, ES. Before his studies, he spent several years in Africa and South America; today he lives and works in Berlin and Paris. In 2016, Kader Attia founded La Colonie in Paris’ 10th arrondissement as a space for the exchange of ideas and discussions focusing on decolonization, not only of people but also of knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Driven by the urgency of social and cultural reparation, it aims to reunite what has drifted apart or been broken. Since March 2020, La Colonie has been closed to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kader Attia’s most recent exhibitions include the 12th Shanghai Biennale, CN; the 12th Gwangju Biennale, KR; Manifesta 12, Palermo, IT; the 57th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, IT; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, DE. He has participated in a number of group exhibitions, including at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, AT; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, US; Tate Modern, London, GB; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Zürich, CH (Remembering the Future, 2020); Sesc Pompeia, São Paulo, BR (Irreparáveis Reparos, 2020); Hayward Gallery, London (The Museum of Emotion, 2019); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, US (MATRIX 274, 2019); Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, DE (Sacrifice and Harmony, 2016); Beirut Art Center, LB (Contre Nature, 2014);  Whitechapel Gallery, London (Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder, 2013–14); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE (Repair. 5 Acts, 2013); among others. In 2016, Kader Attia was awarded the Marcel Duchamp Prize, Paris; in 2017, the Joan Miró Prize, Barcelona, ES; and the Yanghyun Prize, Seoul, KR.

In March 2021, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin hosts the fourth part of a conference series initiated by Kader Attia, Ana Teixeira Pinto, and Giovanna Zapperi entitled The White West.

The international selection committee for the curatorship of the upcoming Berlin Biennale included: Yael Bartana (artist, Amsterdam, NL, and Berlin), Beatrice von Bismarck (professor of art history and visual culture at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig, DE), Anita Dube (artist and independent curator, Greater Noida, IN), Krist Gruijthuijsen (director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Sohrab Mohebbi (Kathe and Jim Patrinos Curator of the 58th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, US), Gabi Ngcobo (artist, educator, and independent curator, Johannesburg, ZA), and Gabriela Rangel (writer and director at Fundación Malba – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, AR).

The Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) began supporting the Berlin Biennale in 2004 and has funded it as one of Germany’s “cultural beacons” since its 4th edition in 2006. They will continue their long-term partnership as the main funder, providing three million euros of support for the 12th Berlin Biennale.



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