Jump directly to the page contents

For further information please download the respective Forum Expanded sheet (PDF).

With Les oxymores de la raison Kader Attia has created an expansive video library containing interviews with philosophers, ethnologists, historians, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, musicologists, patients, healers, fetishists, and griots. Its volumes are edited according to themes like “Genocide”, “Totem and Fetish”, “Reason and Politics,” or “Trance”. The videos make up an essay on psychiatric pathology as it is perceived in traditional non-western as well as in modern western societies. In its mix of rational explanations and irrational representations of what the west calls psychiatry, the work is particularly concerned with the question of the unrepairable, inherent in the idea of “repair”, and calls into question the ambivalence of the psyche of modern western societies towards traditional non-western ones.
Attia’s library not only points to reason’s oxymorons but also to history’s oxymorons and the ambivalent nature of historical progress that can be regarded as a process of injury and repair leaving its traces in social psychopathology.
In the Forum Expanded exhibition, the four volumes “Ancestors”, “Virtual/Real”, “Group,” and “Modernity” will be presented.

Kader Attia, born in 1970 in Dugny, France, lives and works in Berlin and Algiers. Attia grew up in both Algeria and the suburbs of Paris, and uses this experience of living as a part of two cultures as a starting point to develop a dynamic practice that reflects on aesthetics and ethics in different cultures. He takes a poetic and symbolic approach to exploring the wide-ranging repercussions of western modern cultural hegemony and colonialism on non-western cultures, investigating identity politics of historical and colonial eras, from tradition to modernity, creating a genealogy of our globalized world in the process.

Production: Kader Attia, Berlin; La Biennale de Lyon, Lyon
Camera: Kader Attia
Format: 4-channel video installation, Color
Running time: 60 min
Language: French, English

Photo: © Kader Attia

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur