Kadar Attia’s Untitled (Ghardaïa): A City Made from Made from Couscous

Ghardaïa

For Untitled (Ghardaïa), artist Kadar Attia sculpted  a scale model of the Algerian city of the title in couscous, a regional culinary staple. The fragile and ephemeral structure is accompanied by two prints portraying  foundational Western modernist architects, Le Corbusier and Fernand Pouillon, and by a copy of a UNESCO certificate that officially designates the city of Ghardaïa as a World Heritage Site.

Ghardaïa Detail
Ghardaïa, Detail

Attia’s work calls attention to the fact that both designers borrowed from and reworked the Mozabite architecture native to the city of Ghardaïa, and to the ancient Mzab region, without acknowledging their inspiration, itself derived from France’s 19th Century colonization of Algeria and subsequent exploitation of its resources.

Ghardaïa

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

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