Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Butcher Bliss
Flying Carpets

"The flying carpet is a dream of instantaneous and boundless travel, but in Venice I saw illegal immigrants using carpets to fly the coop. They sell counterfeit goods to make some money to live. If they’re caught by the police they risk expulsion.

There was a butcher in Tunis who wanted to honour Ben Ali, by calling his shop ‘Butcher shop of the 7th November’, the day when Ben Ali assumed the presidency in a ‘medical’ coup d’état from then President Habib Bourguiba. After he did so, he disappeared without a trace.

Both works document the crossing of borders: traversing the European border as EU-citizen, or not; the wide line between insult and homage transgressed through the unspoken proximity of slaughter and the governance of the former Tunisian regime; and the whispered longing for freedom in the police state of Cairo."

Nadia Kaabi-Linke was born in 1978 in Tunis to a Russian mother and Tunisian father. She studied at the University of Fine Arts in Tunis (1999) before receiving a PhD from the Sorbonne University in Paris (2008). Her installations, objects and pictorial works are embedded in urban contexts, intertwined with memory and geographically and politically constructed identities. She held her first solo show Archives des banalités tunisoises at Galerie El Marsa, Tunis (2008) and her major solo show in Europe, Tatort at Gallery Christian Hosp, Berlin (2010). She has participated in several international group exhibitions that include Drawn from Life, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendall, UK (2011), Different Abstractions at Green Cardamom, London (2011), Split at Darb 1718 Contemporary, Cairo (2010); Aftermath, the 25th Alexandria Biennial (2009); Provisions for the Future, the 9th Sharjah Biennial (2009); Africaines, 2nd Pan-African Culture Festival,  Algiers (2009) and the 30th Pontevedra Art Biennial (2008). In 2009 she was awarded the Jury Prize by the Alexandria Biennial, and in 2011 she won the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. Kaabi-Linke is represented by Green Cardamom in London and Lawrie Shabibi in Dubai.

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