13 rue de la République, Montpellier

From 22 june to 22 september 2024

Opening reception, 21 june 2024, from 7pm to 10pm at MO.CO.

Descent into Paradise, Kader Attia

In conjunction with the exhibition Being Mediterranean, an exploration of contemporary art from around the Mediterranean to be held at MO.CO. Panacée, the MO.CO. is devoting a monographic exhibition to Kader Attia, one of the most prominent French artists on the international scene.

Born in 1970 in Seine-Saint-Denis, Kader Attia grew up in a multicultural and cosmopolitan atmosphere in the Paris outskirts. His childhood was shaped by the many trips he made back and forth between France and Algeria, from which his family originates. A graduate of the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2016, and curator of the 12th Berlin Biennale in 2022, Kader Attia has forged a body of work that cannot be confined to a single medium and yet is characterized by its own distinctive visual vocabulary. Using drawing, photography, video, sculpture, and installation to suit each individual project, he investigates contemporary society, giving great prominence to poetry and inference, and by focusing on precarious settings, fears, traumas, uprootedness, and hopes for repair. Travel also plays an important role in his history and in his work, invoking marginalised cultures as well as individual destinies.

For his exhibition Descent into Paradise, Kader Attia drew inspiration from the very geography of the MO.CO., its journey from top to bottom, from the sky to the earth and its depths, offering a reflection on reparation and transcendence that questions the notion of verticality as a vital and spiritual movement. Just as the wounds of the past irrigate the fractures of the present and juxtapose eras in a back-and-forth movement, spirituality enables us to escape the grip of History. Like the rain that ravages and transforms, is there not an ascension at play in a downward flow ? While Kader Attia's works have strong philosophical and political implications, Descent into Paradise will also bear witness to the poetic and aesthetic concerns of an artist whose research and thinking are rooted in a practice where form and content merge into a language of their own.

Alongside some of the artist's major works, the exhibition will feature a number of new artworks, including a brand-new immersive installation consisting of a film shot in northern Thailand and a rainstick installation created for MO.CO.

Curator : Numa Hambursin


Media partner :

Logo Les Inrockuptibles



The exhibition Descent into Paradise. Kader Attia is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with unpublished texts by Mohamed Amer Meziane, Sabrina Kassa, as well as an interview of Kader Attia with Numa Hambursin.
The graphic design was entrusted to Jean-Michel Diaz.
Bilingual edition, French-English.
Publishers: Bernard Chauveau Edition – Couleurs Contemporaines / MO.CO. Montpellier Contemporain. Publication: August 2024
196 pages
Retail price: 35 euros.

Catalogue "Descente au Paradis, Kader Attia"



Download the booklet