The Paris-born artist Kader Attia opens a new, three-storey exhibition and events space today (17 October) in Paris. The space is a new kind of artistic “laboratory” for sharing ideas and showing works in the post-Brexit age, he says. The new venue, close to the Gare du Nord train station and co-founded with the restaurateur Zico Selloum, is called La Colonie.
The space will host workshops, conferences, lectures and readings. “Far from a museum or institutional context, the artistic proposals are as much conceptual as they are formal, a-formal or performed,” says a project statement. Details of the exhibition programme are yet to be announced.
La Colonie launches today “in tribute to those who died demonstrating for an independent Algeria in Paris on this day in 1961”, Attia says. Around 300 members of the Algerian community are thought to have died after a crackdown by the police.
Attia stresses that La Colonie is an independent project, which receives no state subsidy. “Everyone brought something, from the paint to the furniture. My mother and other mothers in our neighbourhood are preparing a couscous [meal] for everyone on 21 October,” Attia says.
He hopes to “gather people from all horizons, from academics to social workers in the banlieues [suburbs] who educate young boys and girls.”
A project statement says: “Located in a neighbourhood home to African, Indian and Asian populations, close to the Gare du Nord and thus at the crossroads of Europe and the world, La Colonie aims to reunite—without exclusion and through these great platforms that are of artistic and intellectual creation—all identities and all stories, in particular those of minorities."