Kader Attia: Show your injuries at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Image Above: KADER ATTIA, Modern Architecture Genealogy, 2014, collage on cardboard. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein
Kader Attia’s debut exhibition “Show your injuries”, at Lehmann Maupin Gallery addresses the issue of colonialism through a poetic and critical approach. He takes “injuries” that are both physical, spiritual, personal and collective as the entry point to present us historical facts and current social issues. Attia creates a new dimension for the viewer to rethink western cultural hegemony and colonialism on non-western cultures, and its aftermath.
KADER ATTIA, Injury Reappropriated, 2014, collage on cardboard and canvas with Berber brooches. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein
The exhibition contains two installations at different gallery locations. In the West 26th Street gallery, Attia invites the audience to take an unexpected journey through a labyrinth-like space. The show on display includes the diptych slide projection Dispossession (2013), a work composed of two reproductions of historical paintings depicting Catholic masses, a sculpture made up of antique prosthetic legs, a number of photo collages that explore queer and pop culture, and a room where people can enjoy blues music.
At Chrystie Street, Attia creates a large-scale installation called Asesinos ! Asesinos! (2014). The installation contains over 100 doors split with megaphones attaching on the tops of some of them, which alludes public gatherings and political protests that have happened recently.
KADER ATTIA, Untitled, 2014, 26 found black and white photographs, dimensions variable installation view, 201 Chrystie Street. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein
KADER ATTIA, Show your injuries, Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein
Kader Attia, Show your injuries, Installation view. Photo: Ranran Fan
The exhibition functions not only as a place to have artistic experiences but also as a source to gain knowledge. Attia forces viewers to pay attention to the injuries the African community inflicted by Europeans, and how Christian religion was used to conquer the traditional animist cultures during the European colonial expansion. Attia provides a number of ways to perceive and access this historical period. The artist also links this period to current social issues and people’s daily life, which are the consequences of colonialism. The whole exhibition makes the audience contemplate and question colonialism and personal injuries.
Text by Ranran Fan