Kader Attia, curator of the 12th Berlin Biennale
Raised between Paris and Algeria, Kader Attia (born in 1970 in Dugny, France) studied philosophy and art at the École supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré and the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris as well as at the Escola Massana in Barcelona.
He then spent several years in Congo, Venezuela, Mexico and Spain. Today he lives and works between Berlin and Paris.
Ana Teixeira Pinto, Đỗ Tường Linh, Marie Helene Pereira, Noam Segal and Rasha Salti have all been invited to join Kader Attia's artistic team, bringing their unique perspectives to the decolonial concept through the prism of their diverse critical backgrounds and practices.
12th Berlin Biennale : 11 June - 11 September 2022
Kader Attia has been addressing the notion of "repair" in his artistic practice for more than two decades, exploring the dialectic between destruction and repair. The notion of repair is understood here as a possibility of cultural resistance, but also as a means for a society or a subject to reappropriate its history and identity. Repair in a broad sense describes an approach that can be developed in a collective and collaborative way. It can be accessed both through thought and feeling, between the work and the viewers, between the narrator and the listener.
Kader Attia therefore bases his work around the concept of "repair", which is the central point of departure for his artistic practice and his exhibition concept for the 12th Berlin Biennale. He wishes to initiate a transnational debate that not only addresses historical issues and responsibilities that have long been ignored, but also sets in motion processes that transform our cultural, social and political living conditions. It aims to contribute to a culture of contemporary and anti-colonial memory and to the work of historical analysis, recognition and redress.
The four thematic fields
The curator has chosen to structure the 12th Berlin Biennale around four thematic fields, all of which are based on the concept of "repair".
Colonialism, fascism and the field of emotions
A decolonisation of the arts and colonial heritage
For the main exhibition, the 12th Berlin Biennale will take over institutions such as the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the two sites of the Akademie der Künste - Pariser Platz and Hanseatenweg. In this exhibition, contemporary artists will map the world with its fractures and contradictions and imagine counter-narratives to the colonial narrative and the politics of fear and hate. The curator will bring works by contemporary artists and historical documents and objects face to face, highlighting the sometimes technophile artistic avant-garde of the modern era, as well as the links between fascism and colonialism.
In addition to the main exhibition, there will be a series of collaborations with venues such as the Gemäldegalerie, the Museum für Naturkunde and the Campus für Demokratie. Specific projects at these locations will be presented in relation to one of the four themes detailed above.
The Media: public programme
The Media is a programme of events and web formats specially designed for the occasion. Questioning how decolonial strategies can be implemented in the media and considered as a counter-project to anti-democratic structures, it creates a bridge between the exhibition space and the media space, a space for dialogue that experiments with new ways of meeting during and after a pandemic.
A number of artists, researchers and activists from France and other French-speaking countries, as well as from Africa, have been invited to participate in the 12th Berlin Biennale, either as members of the artistic team or the designated scientific committee, or to present their artistic productions.
Participants from France or living in France
Invited artists (13)
Florian Sông Nguyễn
Deneth Piumakshi Veda Arachchige
The School of Mutants (Boris Raux, Hamedine Kane, Lou Mo, Stéphane Verlet Bottéro, Valérie Osouf)
PEROU – Pôle d’Exploration des Ressources Urbaines
Scientific Committee: French participants (9)
Lives and works in Paris, FR Born in Algiers, DZ
Lives and works in Paris, FR and Berlin, DE Born in Paris, FR
Lives and works in Paris, FR Born in Salakta, TN
Lives and works in Paris, FR Born in Paris, FR
Lives and works in Paris, FR Born in Avallon, FR
Lives and works in Paris and Tours, FR Born in Rome, IT
Lives and works in Paris, FR Born in Paris, FR
Lives and works in Paris, FR Born in Martinique, FR
Lives and works in Paris, FR Born in Brussels, BE
The Institut français supports the participation of artists from the French cultural scene to the Berlin Biennale, in the framework of its Relance Export programme.
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