The Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Association pour la Diffusion Internationale de l’Art Français announced today that Kader Attia has won its 2016 Prix Marcel Duchamp. The prize is awarded annually to a French artist. This year’s other nominees were Yto Barrada, Ulla von Brandenburg, and Barthélémy Toguo.
Attia, who is based in Berlin and Algiers, is known for his work about the legacy of colonialism in non-Western cultures. For a recent project at the Guggenheim Museum, Attia rebuilt a 2009 model of Ghardaïa, the historical Algerian city, entirely using couscous. The model was shown alongside portraits of the architects Le Corbusier and Fernand Pouillon and a UNESCO document designating Ghardaïa a World Heritage Site, evoking how the city might only be valued by the West because it inspired Western buildings.
Attia will now receive €35,000 (about $38,500). Unlike past editions of the Prix Marcel Duchamp, Attia will not be given a solo show at the Pompidou, though his work is currently on view in an exhibition of all the prize’s 2016 nominees at the museum. Attia still has much to look forward to in Paris, however, as he recently announced that he is opening La Colonie, a three-story “laboratory” and events space near Gare du Nord.