Kader Attia / Failures

Opening: 15/01/2009   Closing: 27/02/2009

Failures, installation view, Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2009
Failures, installation view, Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2009
Failures, installation view, Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2009
Failures, installation view, Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2009
Failures, installation view, Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2009
Rochers Carres

For several years now, I am questioning fundamental issues through Art, conducting my researches on these topics always in the light of philosophy, psychoanalysis and poetry. I always try to view my work in a dialogue, which questions the fundamental issues of the existence, and what binds them. It shall often be considered in the spatio-temporal context (geography and history), it was produced in.


Spending my childhood between France and Algeria has led me to feel close to Oriental and Arab philosophy, as well as to Western philosophy. My father, who has immigrated to France from Algeria in the 70’s, has always told me: “The most important thing, when you emigrate, is not the place where you come from or where you go to, it is the journey.”.


I have had to develop an “ergonomic of the mind”, to always be between two things, rather than feeling trapped in one side or the other. This obligation to “go back and forth” has led me to never feel comfortable in the same place, in the same position, and by extension in the same state of mind. I apply this duality of thought to my artistic process. I have always been more interested in hybridism than in opposite sides. I feel that Human Being should come back to this flexible space, which separates any extremely different issues, even if in between the virtual and reality.


In The Order of Things Michel Foucault demonstrates how all representations of things neither depend completely on our culture, nor totally on the scientific rules that define them, but also on the space between these two extreme notions, which is experience. This experience affects our perception of the world more than we would like to believe.


The experience of an artwork that you perceive through its historical content, its “archive”, is, in my opinion, more than an objective iconological notion contained in its boundaries, but rather what subjectively binds us to the artwork. It arises from an intimate dialogue that works like a “sonar” between the artwork and the individual, and produces a personalized echo deep inside each one of us.


This experience binds us to the work in time as well as in space, in a dark, untouchable, but true way – I mean beyond the myth of form, and in an “in between” space, in which poetry can exist. This space, which is similar sometimes to a boundary, sometimes to a limit, sometimes to what binds and separates space and time, void and fullness, “ethics and aesthetic,” is the essence of all these opposite sides. At this level of the origin, poetry could exist.


I like to believe and see that, in contrast to prosaic daily life of Human Beings, this poetry brings us back to our deepest and natural instincts. Edgar Morin says, that human life interweaves poetry and prose. Prose represents the boring activities, necessary to make a living, like going to work everyday, reading emails, etc… Poetry corresponds to the natural activities, for which Human Being has always been prone to: sleeping, eating, making love, “consumation”, as Georges Bataille would say. We have to live poetically . Unfortunately, Man lives on Earth prosaically. Poetry should not be only written, it must also be lived and thought