KADER ATTIA – HYPOMNEMATA

Kader Attia, Hypomnemata (still), 2023. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Image courtesy of the Artist, Lehmann Maupin, Regen Projects and mor charpentier.

Kader Attia, Hypomnemata (still), 2023. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Image courtesy of the Artist, Lehmann Maupin, Regen Projects and mor charpentier.

2022 – 2023

ARTER A PARTICIPÉ À LA PRODUCTION DE L’OEUVRE DE KADER ATTIA « HYPOMNEMATA » (2023).

 » (…) HYPOMNEMATA IN THE STRICT SENSE ARE TECHNIQUES SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO ALLOW THE PRODUCTION AND TRANSMISSION OF MEMORY; THEY ARE EXTERNALIZED SUPPORTS OF MEMORY THAT ALLOW US TO EXPAND OUR NEURAL MEMORY. ANY INDIVIDUATION CANNOT BE DISSOCIATED FROM THESE EXTERNALIZED MEMORY SUPPORTS. TELEVISION, RADIO, THE INTERNET, AS MNEMONIC TECHNOLOGIES, ARE NEW FORMS OF HYPOMNEMATA THAT CALL FOR NEW PRACTICES.

TO UNDERSTAND HYPOMNESIS IS TO UNDERSTAND THAT MEMORY (INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL) IS NOT ONLY IN THE HUMAN BRAINS BUT ALSO BETWEEN THEM, IN THE ARTIFACTS.

FOR MILLENNIA, THE EARTH ARCHITECTURES OF THE MZAB VALLEY IN THE ALGERIAN SAHARA DESERT, BUILT BY THE HANDS OF SEDENTARY MEN AND WOMEN HAVE BEEN ARTIFACTS. THEY ARE ALSO HYPOMNEMATA THAT EMBODY, OUTSIDE OF THE BODIES THAT BUILT THEM, INHABITED THEM AND REPAIRED THEM, WHAT MEMORY CANNOT RETAIN FOREVER, AND THUS SHARE WITH THE COMMUNITY, IN SPACE AND TIME: A KNOW-HOW, A WAY OF LIVING, A WAY OF THINKING. BENEFITING FROM AN ENVIRONMENT HOSTILE TO INVADERS, EARTH ARCHITECTURES BUILT IN THE DESERT HAVE LONG BEEN UNKNOWN TO WESTERNERS. AND FOR THOSE WHO DISCOVERED THEM, THEY DID SO FROM AN OCCUPYING POSITION, LIKE ARCHITECTS LE CORBUSIER AND MARCEL MERCIER, WHOSE INVESTIGATIONS IN THE MZAB VALLEY OCCURRED DURING FRENCH COLONIZATION, AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY.

THESE BRILLIANT EUROPEAN INTELLECTUALS TOOK FOR GRANTED THAT THIS HERITAGE BELONGED TO THEM. THE INFORMATION THEY GATHERED ABOUT THESE FORMS, WHICH MANIFESTED THE ARCHITECTURAL COMMON SENSE THEY HAD NEVER SEEN IN EUROPE, BOTH AESTHETICALLY AND ETHICALLY, CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCELERATION OF THE SO-CALLED « MODERN » ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION. THUS, AS WESTERN AVANT-GARDE ARTISTS DID WITH COLONIZED NON-WESTERN ARTS, WESTERN ARCHITECTS INTRODUCED THE AESTHETICS AND FUNCTIONALITIES OF EARTH ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN PLANS OF CITIES SUCH AS GHARDAÏA, WITHOUT ANY RETRIBUTION FOR THE MOZABITE PEOPLE, THE AUTHORS OF THESE ARCHITECTURES, WHETHER FINANCIAL, HONORARY OR SCIENTIFIC. THE ONE-WAY EXTRACTION, WHICH MODERN CAPITALISM, THROUGH COLONIALISM AND SLAVERY, HAS ERECTED AS THE FUEL OF PROGRESS, DID NOT STOP AT THE STRENGTH OF BODIES AND HUMAN LIVES, BUT ALSO PLUNDERED THOUSAND YEAR OLD KNOWLEDGE. (…)

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