In many of his sculptures and installations, Attia ironically invokes the display methods and subject matter of a typical 19th-century natural history or ethnographic museum – making use of theatrical lighting, plinths and vitrines – in order to explore the way in which colonialism continues to shape how Western societies represent and engage with non-Western cultures.
Through the selection of objects in the two vitrines both called Measure and Control, the artist invites us to consider the ways in which different cultures represent and relate to the natural world, as well as to cultures other than their own. As Attia explains, ‘I’m critiquing those social sciences that claim to control and understand the world... just by classifying it’.
Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion was at Hayward Gallery 13 February until 6 May 2019
From internationally acclaimed artists at Hayward Gallery, to pop-up installations, showcases and immersive experiences. Engaging and inspiring art and exhibitions can be found across Southbank Centre.