The artistic language of Kader Attia takes its departure from the mixed cultures between France and Algeria that have accompanied him since his childhood. The painful history encompassed in the complex relationships of these countries, the colonizer and the colonized, has implemented a concept he envisions in the form of a trilogy around the themes of reappropriation, reparation, and repair. His work investigates historical, sociological, anthropological, and philosophical facets and phenomenon of traditional and modern societies. Through meticulous artistic analyses, Attia breaks away from binary dynamics and introduces dialogs turned toward notions of lineage and continuity while questioning senses of beauty.
THE VALLEY OF DREAMS—Attia’s debut solo show at Regen Projects in Los Angeles—is a continuum of his research and investigations. Taking the promised land of the American West as a point of reference, Attia draws lines and mise en abimes with Arabian landscapes such as the sea and the desert. If he uses the land as a metaphor, Attia also questions the ways western cultures deal with the idea of injury—a concept he necessarily associates with one of repair. Where traditional cultures celebrate these marks with emphasis and artifacts, cultures of whiteness have been in complete denial in the face of it. However, Attia sees the trauma in these gestures of brutal erasure and buried histories.
What Attia offers through his rigorous science is an aesthetical therapy, where imagination through meaning heals the wounds. As he puts it: “Repair is an oxymoron, because ‘injury’ is its raison d’être. One cannot think about repairing something that hasn’t been injured. The state of the injured thing (the failure) and the state of the repaired thing (the repair) are forever bound in a causal layout that runs in the ethical and aesthetic loop of repair. This is true for all metaphors of repair: natural, cultural, political, immaterial, and so on…”
See link below for exhibition information.
Through December 23, by appointment.
6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles.
Kader Attia, The Valley of Dreams, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, November 12, 2020–December 23, 2020, from top: Rochers Carrés, 2020, lightbox; Untitled, 2020, collage, ink, photograph, photocopy, print on paper; Untitled, 2020, Kraft paper with blue pigment framed in plexiglass box; installation view; Untitled, 2020, ceramic, terracotta, epoxy resin and steel plinth; Untitled (Skyline), 2007, refrigerators, mirror fragments; The Dead Sea (detail), 2015, floor installation made of secondhand blue clothes; Mirror Mask, 2020, wooden mask, mirror fragments, black pigment; Untitled, 2020, henna and thread on canvas. Images © Kader Attia, photographed by Evan Bedford, courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects.