Hayward Gallery

Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion

13 FEB – 6 MAY 2019

Kader Attia’s first UK survey exhibition traces several strands of the artist’s work from the past two decades. 

Defining himself as an activist as well as an artist, Attia has over the past twenty years set out to create artworks that engage our capacity for thinking as well as feeling, and provoke what he calls a ‘real, fundamental dialogue’ about the world in which we live. 

In sculptures, installations, collages, videos and photographs that move ‘back and forth between politics and poetry’, Attia inventively explores the ways in which colonialism continues to shape how Western societies represent and engage with non-Western cultures, and offers a passionate critique of modern Western systems of control that define everything from traditional museology to the design of modernist social housing. 

A key group of works in The Museum of Emotion engage with the idea of repair as both a physical and symbolic act. These include objects ‘repaired’ by the artist using techniques and materials employed in certain non-Western cultures, as well as videos and large-scale installations that explore the way in which repair relates to psychological as well as physical injury, and to collective as well as individual trauma. 

In The Museum of Emotion, Attia transforms detailed research into compelling works of art, and at the same time probes the ways in which the museum itself might be transformed into a forum for emotional response, capable of eliciting, exploring and even harnessing strongly held feelings of anger, sorrow, joy and grief.

This exhibition is supported by Qatar Museums Doha, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, Institut Français du Royaume-Uni and the Yanghyun Foundation.

Hayward Gallery opening times

11am – 7pm every day except Tuesdays when the gallery is closed. Late night opening on Thursdays until 9pm.

book now

Each ticket allows entry to this exhibition and diane arbus: in the beginning.

about the diane arbus exhibition

These exhibitions contain some content that visitors may find upsetting, including nudity and footage of sexual violence and mutilated corpses.

Members go free

Get free entry to all exhibitions at Hayward Gallery and enjoy Members' private views.

join now

Kader Attia was born in 1970, in Dugny, France. As a child, he visited family in Algeria every school holiday, spending time in both the capital city Algiers, and the Aurès Mountains. According to Attia, it was this experience of moving between very different places that first made him sensitive to in-between spaces – ‘physical, geographical’ and ‘intellectual’. 

Attia studied philosophy and both fine and applied art at university, and later spent a number of years working in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he also held his first solo exhibition. Returning to France in 1997, he began a photographic project documenting the private lives of a community of Algerian transgender sex workers. In 2003, this project gained him international recognition when a slideshow featuring 160 of these images was included in the 50th Venice Biennale. 

In the early 2000s, Attia began to work with media other than photography, and today continues to work across painting, collage, video, sculpture and installations. In 2012, the artist exhibited his monumental installation The Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures as part of dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, and in 2016 he was awarded France’s prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize for his video Reflecting Memory. In the same year, the artist 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); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2017); MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2016); Museé Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne (2015); Beirut Art Center (2014); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2007); and Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (2006). Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion is the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the UK. 


Visit the exhibition in the company of special guests, the exhibition’s curatorial team and our Hayward Gallery tour guides. Tours take place weekly, on Thursdays at 6.30pm and Saturdays at 2pm, and take approximately 45 minutes.
Free with same-day exhibition ticket.
Thursday 14 February
Sophie Oxenbridge, Assistant Curator, Hayward Gallery
Thursday 21 February
Ralph Rugoff, Hayward Gallery Director and curator of Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion
Saturday 23 February
David Dibosa, Course Leader, MA Curating and Collections, Chelsea College of Arts
Thursday 7 March
Lucy Biddle, Exhibitions Interpretation Manager, Hayward Gallery
Saturday 23 March
Hannah Gregory, writer and editor
Thursday 4 April
Alyssa Bacon, Curatorial Assistant, Hayward Gallery

School Groups

Teachers can book discounted tickets (call our group ticket line for prices) for a group of up to 30 pupils to visit Hayward Gallery and experience the exhibition on weekdays during exhibition hours (closed Tuesdays).

Private Guided Tours

Looking for a VIP exhibition experience for your group? Private guided tours are available with our experienced Hayward Gallery tour guides. These one-hour tours are available for groups of up to 20 people anytime the gallery is open to the public, and are £100 per group in addition to group exhibition entry.
Group Bookings
Groups of ten people or more can get discounted entry prices for weekday visits when tickets are booked and paid for in advance.

Group Ticket Prices
Adult groups: £12.00
Secondary School, College and University Groups: £5.00 per student (Free tutor tickets when bringing a group of 10+ students)
Primary schools ages 4 –11: Free (Free tutor tickets when bringing a group)
Lambeth & Southwark Schools ages 4 –16: Free
To book a private tour or to make a group booking, call our group ticket line on 020 7960 4225 (Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm) or email groups@southbankcentre.co.uk for more information.

This exhibition is supported by Qatar Museums Doha, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation, Institut Français du Royaume-Uni and the Yanghyun Foundation.

related events

works in focus


Find out more about the artist’s poetic and politically engaged work
Take a first look at Kader Attia’s Hayward Gallery exhibition in this short video
Read an interview between the artist and Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff

shop kader attia

Elm Cluster A6 Notebook

Mood Masks

Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion Exhibition Poster

Rosewood Curb Link Bracelet