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Kader Attia's work acquired by the Contemporary Art Society at Frieze London

The Contemporary Art Society has announced their acquisition of Dispossession (2013) by Kader Attia for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art at Frieze London. Addressing themes of colonization and immigration, the museum seeks to play a civic role through a focus on education, activism, and community building, and these themes resonate with the diverse audience it serves. The work was acquired through the Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund, which was set up in 2012 to support the acquisition of significant contemporary works for Contemporary Art Society museum members across the United Kingdom. It aims to draw together the knowledge and experience of private collectors with that of museum curators.


Dispossession (2013) is a video installation examining the role of Christian missionaries in the colonization of African cultures. The Vatican has a collection of over 80,000 African artifacts brought back to Europe by missionaries during the colonial era. These objects are presented as slides alongside a video series of four interviews conducted between Attia, an anthropologist, an art historian, a priest, and a lawyer. The subject of repatriation is central to the installation as it considers the political and psychoanalytical questions that arise from the collecting of these objects.


The work will be on display at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art from spring 2017.


About The Collections Fund at Frieze
The Contemporary Art Society’s Collections Fund was set up in 2012 and is designed to support the acquisition of significant contemporary works for Contemporary Art Society museum members across the United Kingdom. A key aim of the scheme is to draw together the knowledge, experience and expertise of private collectors with that of museum curators in a program of research leading to an acquisition. The Collections Fund at Frieze is a new partnership for 2016 to acquire a major new work at the fair for Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. The fund of £50,000 includes a match-funded gift.

About Contemporary Art Society
The Contemporary Art Society champions the collecting of outstanding contemporary art and craft in the United Kingdom. Since 1910 the charity has donated thousands of works by living artists to museums. Sitting at the heart of cultural life in the United Kingdom, the Contemporary Art Society brokers philanthropic support for the benefit of museums and their audiences across the entire country. Their work ensures that the story of art continues to be told now and for future generations.

About Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, part of Teesside University, is moving forward with a vision of itself as a ‘useful museum’, or ‘museum 3.0’. The ‘useful museum’ is a civic institution that promotes art as a tool for social change and is created by the sum of the actions of its users. The ‘museum 3.0’ establishes the gallery as a public site, beyond representation and participation and based on use value, with its meaning defined by its constituents.

About the artist
Kader Attia (b. 1970, France) grew up in both Algeria and the suburbs of Paris, and uses this experience of living as a part of two cultures as a starting point to develop a dynamic practice that reflects on aesthetics and ethics of different cultures. He takes a poetic and symbolic approach to exploring the wide-ranging repercussions of Western cultural hegemony and colonialism on non-Western cultures, investigating identity politics of historical and colonial eras, as well as in our modern, globalized world. Attia has gained international recognition with exhibitions such as the 50th Venice Biennale; 8th Lyon Biennial; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, UK; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Huarte, Spain; and Savannah College of Art, Savannah, GA (2008); among others. He has been nominated for the 2016 Prix Marcel Duchamp.


About Lehmann Maupin
Founded in 1996 by partners Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, Lehmann Maupin has fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established, working in multiple disciplines and across varied media. With three locations—two in New York and one in Hong Kong—the gallery represents artists from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Known for championing artists who create groundbreaking and challenging forms of visual expression, Lehmann Maupin presents work highlighting personal investigations and individual narratives through conceptual approaches that often address such issues as gender, class, religion, history, politics, and globalism.

For press enquiries, please contact Marta de Movellan ( / +1 859 948 1569).

Dispossession, 2013, double slide, single slide, and video projection, color, sound, slide duration: 13 minutes; video duration: 6 minutes, 43 seconds. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.