Kader Attia: Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob's Ladder : The Whitechapel gallery


Today I visited the Kader Attia exhibition at the Whitechapel gallery named continuum of repair: the light of Jacob's ladder. The exhibition is based around the biblical story of Jacob's Ladder, about Jacob the descendant of Isaac and Abraham, seeing a ladder to heaven in his dream where gods angels climbed and God stood at the top. 'Most scholars interpret Jacob's ladder as a connection between heaven and earth, with God taking the initiative to reach out to man.' http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/a/Jacobs-Ladder.htm . The exhibition was beautiful but left me slightly confused although the opening description was helpful i felt i had to further research the biblical story, i think this helped me to understand the exhibition more. At first i just saw a lot of books and artefacts based on science, religion, philosophy and history, towering around a small set of stairs leading to one long florescent light surrounded by mirrors and creating the illusion of Jacobs ladder. I now see that what i understand of the exhibit is that intelligence and learning about the world makes the connection between earth and a higher power more accessible; for example the pillars of wounded soldiers of WW1 featured at the exhibition could show how faith helps to heal and repair. 

Overall, Kader Attias messsage is as he states on the introduction note ' The biggest illusion of the human mind is probably the one on which man has built himself: the idea that he invents something, when all he does is repair' Attia is said to see repair as a 'process of renewal, re-appropriation and human development'.

© Kelsey Leanne Vickery, all rights reserved