Reason’s Oxymorons, 2015
18 films and installation of cubicles
duration: variable, 13 to 25 minutes
55 x 262 x 468 inches (installed overall), 139.7 x 665.5 x 1188.7 cm
Edition of 3
installation view at Lehmann Maupin, New York, January 2017
image courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York
Reason’s Oxymorons (2015) is a large scale installation by KADER ATTIA that has been shown for the first time in 2015 at the Lyon Biennial. It is currently on view in New York at the Lehmann Maupin gallery.
Like for its previous presentations, the video installation Reason’s Oxymorons (2015) is shown into cubicle workstations. Each individual cubicles is featuring one video interview with a philosopher, ethnologist, historian, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, musicologist, patient, healer, fetishist, and griot conducted in several countries. They talk about themes like “Genocide”, “Totem and Fetish”, “Reason and Politics” and “Trance”. The whole is a ‘mix of rational explanations and irrational representations of what the West calls psychiatry. ‘The work is particularly concerned with the question of the unrepairable and it calls into question the ambivalence of the psyche of modern Western societies towards traditional Non-Western societies’*.
What’s important to understand, when talking about capitalism as a constant illusion of fixing, is that the real issue of war is the polarization between repair and destruction. This helped me understand how much war and creation – war and art – work together in a very narrow, complementary and interdependent process, echoing the endless processes of life in the universe, which at some point are embodied and personified, and represent the notion of repair. Because there is no repair if there is no injury somewhere. Conceptually you cannot conceive of the notion of repair without an injury. Repair is fed by injury, and vice-versa. – KADER ATTIA in conversation with IRIT ROGOFF, 2016