This digital print by Kader Attia is exhibited on the side of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, opposite Hayward Gallery.
Kader Attia is interested in boundaries – ‘geographic, cultural, sexual, religious’ – and the way they function as in-between spaces. The son of Algerian immigrants, Attia grew up in Paris but spent his summer holidays in Algiers where he spent hours smoking, fishing and – like the teenagers in this photograph – watching the ships going back and forth between Algeria and Europe.
Rochers Carrés (2008) – in English, ‘square rocks’ – is one of a series of images that Attia made of this breakwater ‘beach’ in the Algiers neighbourhood of Bab El Oued. In Attia’s words, this beach is ‘the ultimate boundary’ that separates these young people from their dreams of a better life.
Kader Attia (b. 1970, Dugny, France) lives and works in Berlin. In 2016, he was awarded the prestigious Marcel Duchamp prize for his video Reflecting Memory, and in the same year set up La Colonie, a space for politically engaged debate in the multicultural neighbourhood near Paris’s Gare du Nord station. Solo exhibitions of Attia’s work have been held in museums and galleries around the world, including Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2018); The Power Plant, Toronto (2018); and MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2016). Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion (13 February – 6 May 2019) is the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the UK.