Political journey

Kader Attia – La Mer Morte

Kader Attia, La Mer Morte, 2015, installation with used blue clothes, variable dimension, installation view (detail) Kunsthaus Zürich, 2020, Courtesy of the artist & Galerie Nagel Draxler, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Franca Candrian

Scattered on the floor of an otherwise empty room are around 300 used, exclusively blue pieces of clothing. It only takes a quick glance at Kader Attia’s abstract and concentrated installation to understand the scope of the work, spatially as well as in terms of content. 

It evokes associations of the current refugee crises, of people fleeing across the sea, capsized boats, objects washed up on the beach, and, in the worst case, the clothes of drowned people. These and similar images are sadly still all too present in the collective visual memory. The work is entitled: La Mer Morte, the Dead Sea, underlines this reading. Here, the endless vastness of the sea, the dream destination of many travelers, becomes a warning symbol of the failure to provide aid in the event of a humanitarian disaster.