In Ghost, a large installation of a group of Muslim women in prayer, Attia renders their bodies as vacant shells, empty hoods devoid of personhood or spirit. Made from tin foil - a domestic, throw away material - Attia’s figures become alien and futuristic, synthesising the abject and divine. Bowing in shimmering meditation, their ritual is equally seductive and hollow, questioning modern ideologies - from religion to nationalism and consumerism - in relation to individual identity, social perception, devotion and exclusion. Attia’s Ghost evokes contemplation of the human condition as vulnerable and mortal; his impoverished materials suggest alternative histories or understandings of the world, manifest in individual and temporal experience.
17 February 2009
Middle East @ The Saatchi
On the eve of fashion week and putting together my first shoot I still made time to go to the Saatchi gallery in Kings Road to catch the new show on Unveiled Art in The Middle East . I was in awe of Kader Attia's Ghost made out of aluminum foil. His explanation of the piece: