Selected works by Kader Attia

Kader Attia


Aluminium foil

Dimensions variable
In Ghost, a large installation of a group of Muslim women in prayer, Attia renders their bodies as vacant shells, empty hoods devoid of personhood or spirit. Made from tin foil - a domestic, throw away material - Attia’s figures become alien and futuristic, synthesising the abject and divine. Bowing in shimmering meditation, their ritual is equally seductive and hollow, questioning modern ideologies - from religion to nationalism and consumerism - in relation to individual identity, social perception, devotion and exclusion. Attia’s Ghost evokes contemplation of the human condition as vulnerable and mortal; his impoverished materials suggest alternative histories or understandings of the world, manifest in individual and temporal experience.

Other Resources
Various information and images – Kader Attia
Additional images and information – Kader
Modern and contemporary artists and art – Kader Attia
Born in 1970 to an Algerian family in a Paris suburb, Attia has quickly and forcefully imposed himself on the international art scene. His work explores questions of community, diversity, belonging and exile and the tangle of identity conflicts in the age of globalization.
"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. In what seems to be a recreation courtyard, girls and boys play with marbles or squabble while the pigeons are slowly devouring them.
His early work captured identity and gender issues in Muslim immigrant populations living in a French consumerist society. Attia’s recent projects have turned darker and more intimate, presenting an apocalyptic outlook on the suburban landscape of today.
His new workalso 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.
For his first solo exhibition in the US, French artist Kader Attia crams 24 rough plywood beds with cheap foam mattresses into a single room. Lit by bare light bulbs, and paneled with gypsum board, the installation immerses visitors in an environment inspired by Attia’s own childhood growing up in a crowded apartment in the Parisian suburbs.
His viewpoint is of one who grew up in a Muslim family of Algerian origin, in the fringe populations of Paris’ immigrant neighborhoods. This aspect of his life continues to flavor his work, a contemplation on the loss of identity and emptiness that permeates the sub-cultures of those that live in those conditions.
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.