Based in Paris, artist Kader Attia builds all kinds of visually poetic installations that evoke contemplation of the human spirit. One piece in particular, Holy Land, involves shaped mirrors unnaturally placed across a landscape. Exhibited twice, the first installation was on public display at the Canary Islands and involved 45 mirrors placed along the beach. The second, and more recent, exhibit included 21 tombstone-shaped mirrors set along the Tuscan countryside in an arrangement similar to that of a graveyard. Each time Attia installs Holy Land, he transforms a naturally peaceful landscapes into a perplexing environment.
Upon visiting Holy Land, Attia's audience is confronted with stunning and lively reflections, but upon further consideration, also find a strong reminder of their own mortality and the permanence of death. When speaking about the work, Attia said, “From a distance the mirrors shine brightly but the closer you get the less attractive they become because they reflect reality.”
The French-Algerian artist has always been interested in the conflicts of identity, particularly in regards to cultural backgrounds and ethnicity. For Holy Land, he chose to place the material items within nature in order to form an uncomfortable tension and to remind us of our own individuality, as well as our “human vanity and the desire to dominate nature.”