I'm More Interested in Messy, Concrete Reality

Interview Nadia Kaabi-Linke


First published in: On One Side of the Same Water. Artistic Practices between Tirana and Tangier, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, 2012.

There are many things happening all over the world. What I criticize is that things are often regionalized when they take place elsewhere than in the West. When it is a matter of Western art, less classification takes place in terms of the artist’s background. But when it is a question of artists from Egypt or Tunisia, they quickly get stuck with the background label. And that means there are certain expectations concerning the artistic work. I am not at all interested in classifications of this kind. (N.K.-L.)

tunisia, art market, canon, revolution

Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Nadia Kaabi-Linke, born 1978, is a Tunis-born, Berlin-based visual artist. Her work has explored themes of geopolitics, immigration, and transnational identities. Raised between Tunis, Kiev, Dubai and Paris, she studied at the Tunis Institute of Fine Arts and received a PhD. in Philosophy of Art from the Sorbonne. Kaabi-Linke won the 2011 Abraaj Group Art Prize, which commissioned Flying Carpets, a hanging cage-like sculpture that casts geometric shadows onto the floor akin to the carpets of Venetian street vendors. Her works have been collected by the Museum of Modern Art, Dallas; the Museum of Art, Burger Collection, and the Samdani Art Foundation, and exhibited in multiple solo and group shows.

Nadia_Kaabi-Linke, Black is the New White, 2012, lightbox
; photo: Nadia Kaabi-Linke

I’m More Interested in Messy, Concrete Reality