Kader Attia

SPAZIO|22 is pleased to announce its first collaboration with GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, which during the Miart “Artweek”, on 29th March 2017, will be opening a double solo exhibition with works by Kader Attia and Daniel Buren in two of the rooms of SPAZIO|22.

The two French artists belong to different generations: Daniel Buren (b. 1938), since several years well-established on the international artistic scene and Kader Attia (b.1970) who won last year the prize Marcel Duchamp, establishing himself as one of the major French artists of the future.

Daniel Buren will present a site specific installation “In Situ”. The artist explains his work in a text dated back to 1985 but still very timely: «In Situ, this expression, which followed my work for the past ten years, does not only mean that the work is located in a determined place or in a determined situation, but rather the place and the work “in situ” are strictly connected and bound to each other. […] The sentence “work in situ” in the closest sense to which I mean it, could be paraphrased as “transformation of the host place”. The transformation of the location is achieved through various operations including the use of my “visual tool”.

This transformation could be done for the space, against space or in osmosis with space, just as a chameleon changes its colour on a green leaf or becomes grey on a stone wall. Therefore, there are always two transforming agents, the tool that acts on the location and the location that acts on the tool, exerting some sort of influence to eachother. […] Lastly, “in situ” in my mind means there is a volountary link between the reception space and “the work” that has been done, shown and presented. This applies without exception to all my work that has been done here and elsewhere from 1965».

Kader Attia will present instead, amongst others, a work entitled “Repair, Culture’s agency #2”, produced in 2014, which consist of a marble sculpture and a wooden board called “Ketab”, which was previously used in the North African tradition to memorize the texts of the Koran.

Attia explains his work: «After having found the first board in a Moroccan market, I discovered that my father, as a boy, used similar panels to learn the Koran. Basically these “Ketabs” (which is its original name) are books, where young people used to write and rewrite sacred texts, having to learn them by heart so that they could become good and honest people. These boards needed to be polished and soaked in a liquid preparation of crete, which when dried would create a layer where students could write.
These texts were repeated for many times until they weren’t perfectly learnt, only then students were allowed to wipe the board and learn a new extract.»

The idea of creating new diptychs with these Ketabs came up to artist’ mind when he worked on the production of his work Continuum of Repair: The light of Jacobs Ladder at the Whitechapel Library of London. The idea of history, memory and tradition is deeply linked both to the Ketab and the marble soldier; signs of restoration can be easily seen; which creates an analogy between the oriental element (Ketab) and the wound on the marble sculpture, which represents a wounded soldier during the First World War (western element). This emphasizes the psychological trauma as a result of physical pain that often accompanies war veterans upon their return home, taking them to madness or even to suicide.

The great connection between cultures that are so distant from each other is, then, the diversity which characterizes us since ancient times.