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Kader Attia
visit of exhibition with the artist

Magasin, Center of National Contemporary Art, presents the work of Kader Attia. Attia’s Tsunami is a large scale, minimalist stainless steel installation. His goal is to focus on the poetic irony of current political climates internationally in relation to natural disasters. As a result of fixed government policies existent in all countries, Attia’s work and philosophies challenge the viewer to question the marketing of controlled filtration of world news made available to the masses and if they are made politically correct for media distribution according to laws created and specialized for each countries government.

Tsunami is calm and seductive in presentation while, metaphorically, this piece represents inimicality beneath the surface. It is meant to exaggerate the notion of individualized interpretations of reality versus what is actually taking place historically. Through intellect and senses, Attia links media and perception with presentation and metaphor.

“With this piece, I am talking about all the political problems you can have in the current world. The wave, made of the stainless steel, is a shiny …very quiet piece. Very seductive. But actually this wave hides something harder…more sinister. Tsunamis are natural disasters. Natural disasters usually take place in poor countries at the end of political crisis/process…within rich countries…

…In this artwork…I try to focus on the poetic aspect of art. What is interesting is the reflection of water, the sun, or clouds on this stainless steel…it makes it a totally different piece with each change. All this helps me to reflect on what people need and what are the fantasies of the people...

When I was thinking about the project, I found it more interesting focus on the front side of the piece because, for me, when you to stand in front of this…as the people who saw the Tsunami for the last two years, it makes an immediate impact. The speed of the Tsunami is 200-300 km/hr. The point is to captivate the viewer as soon as they come into the space, for them to have the piece directly in front of them. The paradox of this piece is to create something that is attractive that symbolizes something aggressive. The paradox of peace and beast. I believe that all the natural disasters today are the result of irresponsible politics. Not only irresponsible, but also the violence between cultures. Today, if you try to be different, and you show that you are different, there are consequences. So, this piece is trying to joke with this politically correct policy of world governments we are living amongst now.“

Kader Attia and Inge Linder Gaillard

Kader Attia and Inge Linder Gaillard

Kader ATTIA Interview by participants of Ecole du Magasin and Inge Linder Gaillard (exhibition coordinator) in the occasion of Tsunami exposition at Magasin (21 October 2006 - January 7, 2007).

Grenoble, 20 october 2006.
Transcription and editing : Sadie Woods


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