Nadia Kaabi-Linke




Gallery image
Born in 1978 Tunis, Tunisia
Lives and works in Germany

Nadia Kaabi-Linke was born in Tunis, Tunisia, in 1978, and raised in Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. She graduated from the University of Fine Arts, Tunis, in 1999, and earned a Ph.D. at Université Paris-Sorbonne, in 2008. Growing up between Tunis, Kyiv, and Dubai, and now residing in Berlin and Kyiv, Kaabi-Linke has a personal history of migration across cultures and borders that has greatly influenced her work. Her works give physical presence to that which tends to remain invisible, be it people, structures, or the geopolitical forces that shape them.

Using a variety of materials and methods, Kaabi-Linke often works in-situ on projects that relate directly to their exhibition sites. She has rendered visible the bodily traces of people waiting at Berlin bus shelters and subway stations, the scars of domestic violence victims in London, and paint chips scraped from city walls throughout North Africa and Europe. Between 2011 and 2014, she realized Meinstein, a permanent public artwork in Berlin that reflects processes of ethnic segregation. For her recent installation, “Walk the Line” (2015), volunteers wrapped two poles with thread the length of the Texas-Mexico border until it formed a dense wall. Flying Carpets (2011), which was shown at the Venice Biennale that year, gives physical shape to the immigrant merchants of Venice who often display their wares on sheets that they can be quickly swept up upon the arrival of authorities. Mapping the movements of the vendors and their blankets on a single bridge, Kaabi-Linke recreated the forms in steel, aluminum, and thread, suspending them above the viewer.

Border crossings of many kinds—European and North African, Islamic and
Christian, East, and West-Berlin—have often served as the impetus for Kaabi-Linke’s endeavors. In No (2012), for example, a two-channel video work commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial, she reflects on the absurd difficulties of her own application as a Tunisian for entry into the United Kingdom to deliver a lecture, with a pair of disembodied lips reciting the accusatory questions found on British visa application forms as a crowd of churchgoers opposes the voice of authority in unison.

Solo exhibition:

2021. Blindstrom / Реактивний струм, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
2020. A Matter of Resilience, Darat al Funun, The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman, Jordan
2019. Ремонт, Izolatsia, Kyiv, Ukraine
2018. Impossible Ordinary, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2017. Versiegelte Zeit / Sealed Time, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
After-Images of Residue, Experimenter, Frieze Art, New York, NY, USA
2016. Lost and Found, Experimenter, Kolkata, India
2015. Walk the Line, curated by Justine Ludwig. Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX, USA
2015. Fahrenheit 311: Seven Legends of Machismo", Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE
2014. The Future Rewound and the Cabinet of Souls", curated by Timo Kaabi-Linke and Rachel Jarvis, The Mosaic Rooms, London, UK
2014. In Confinement My Desolate Mind Desires, Experimenter, Art Basel, Hong Kong
2014. Meinstein. Inauguration of a permanent public artwork on the Alfred-Scholz-Square in Neukoelln, Berlin, Germany
2014. Stranded – Preso por fios, curated by Isabel Carlos, Centro de Arte Moderna, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal
2013. No One harms Me…, Experimenter, Kolkata, India
2012. Black is the New White, Lawrie Shabibi , Dubai, UAE
2010. Tatort/ Crime Scene, curated by Jamila Adeli, Christian Hosp Galerie, Berlin, Germany
2009. Archives des banalités tunisoises, Gallery El Marsa, Tunis, Tunisia

Group exhibitions:

2022.The Mashrabiya Project - Seeing Through Space, curated by Jennifer-Navva Milliken. Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, PA, USA.  
2021.Horizons d'eaux. Parcours d'art contemporain sur le canal du midi. FRAC Occitanie Montpellier, France. 
2021. Un.e air.e de famille, curated by N’Gone Fall. Musée d’art et d’histoire Paul Éluard, St. Dénis, France
2021. The Architecture of Confinement. Part II of The Architecture of Deception Trilogy, curated by Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil, BNKR, Munich, Germany.
2021. Seeing and Perceiving. Ithra Museum, Damman, Saudi Arabia
2021. TraumA. 3rd Bruges Triennial, Bruges, Belgium
2021. Fresh Earth, Aicon Gallery, New York, NY, USA
2020. I Put a Spell On You: On Artist Collaborations, curated by Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil. SCAD – Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
2020. The Lighthouse, curated by Louma Salamé. Villa Empain – Boghossian Foundation, Brussels
2020. Selection of Gabes Cinema Fen. Württ. Kunstverein. Stuttgart
2020. Global(e) Resistance, curated by Christine Macel, Alicia Knock, and Yung Ma. Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2020. The Invented History, curated by Katrin Becker. KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
2020. A Bottomless Silence - Moda 2020, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York Online Edition.
2020. El Kazma – Gabes Cinema Fen, Gabes, Tunisia. Online Edition.
2020. Unhomed, Uppsala Art Museum, Uppsala
2019. Соло / Solo. Mayakovsky Theater, 48 hours Novosibirsk / 48 часов Новосибирск
2019. Mare nostrum : identités méditerranéennes, curated by Pauline Ruiz et Jules Fourtine. Espace Monte Cristo, Paris, France
2019. Durch Mauern gehen / Walking Through Walls, curated by Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil. Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany
2019. Clapping With Stones: Arts and Acts of Resistance, curated by Sara Raza. Rubin Museum of Art, New York, USA
2019. Gedenkort Stadthaus, Exhibition of shortlisted artist contributions for a non-open public architecture competition, Stadthöfe, Hamburg, Grmany
2019. Sensation of Space, curated by Dr. Leigh A. Arnold & Thomas Feulmer. The Warehouse, Dallas, TX, USA
2019. MATERIALIZE, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE
2019. What Remains Is What the Poets Found, curated by Jesi Khadivi. PS 120, Berlin, Germany
2019. Speaking Power to (Post) Truth, curated by Sara Raza. Jane Lombard Gallery, New York, USA
2018. How To See [What Isn't There]. Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany
2018. Body Ego. Dallas Museum of Art, TX, USA
2018. Scripted Reality. 10 Hanover St, London. UK
2018. Sahara: What is written will remain, Galleria Delle Prigioni, Treviso, Italy
2018. LB01 – Lahore Biennial, Pakistan
2017. Witness. Karachi Biennial, Pakistan
2017. Between two rounds of fire, the exile of the sea: Arab Modern and Contemporary Works from the Barjeel Art Foundation, Curated by Karim Sultan. American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington DC
2016. (RE) Birth, curated by Fabrice Bousteau. Art Abu Dhabi 2016. Gateway Program, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2016. Borders of Visibility — 25th Slavonian Biennial, curated by Valentina Rados. Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek, Croatia
2016. Social Calligraphies, curated by Magda Kardasz. Zacheta — National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
2016. Songlines for a New Atlas, curated by Torun Ekstrand. Kalmar Museum, Kalmar, Sweden
2016. But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise", curated by Sara Raza. UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA
2016. Line and Body: The Minimal Impulse in South Asia and the Middle East". Aicon Gallery, New York NY, USA
2016. But Still Tomorrow Builds into My Face, curated by Nat Muller. Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE
2016. Magic and Power– Of Magic Carpets and Drones, curated by Anne Schloen and Ute Wilaert. Marta Herford Museum, Herford, Germany
2015. Invisible Manoeuvres – Reserves of Interpretation and Regions of Definition, curated by Sabine Winkler. Galerie Wedding, Berlin, Germany
2015. What is Home? curated by Yasmine Datnow. Pump House Gallery, London, UK.
2015. The Monsoon Show, ISA Gallery, Mumbai, India
2015. All the World’s a Mosque", curated by Lina Lazaar, Bardo Museum, Carthage, Tunisia
2014. Wir sind alle Berliner: 1884-2014, curated by Simon Njami. Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
2014. Entre nosotros / Between Us. Video Art from the Middle East and North Africa in a Global World", curated by Sabrina Amrani. Etopia Center for Art and Technology, Zaragoza, Spain
2014. Memory, Place, Desire: Contemporary Art of the Maghreb and the Maghrebi  Diaspora, curated by Carlo Solomon. Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, Haverford, PA, USA
2014. Sculpture du Sud #4, curated by Valerie de Maulmin. Villa Datris, L’Isle-sur-La-Sorgue, France
2014. Ici l’Afrique/ Here Africa, curated by Adelina von Fuerstenberg. Art for the  World, Chateau de Penthes, Geneva, Switzerland
2014. Arab Contemporary, curated by Kjeld Kjeldsen and Mette Marie Kallehauge.  Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
2014. Conjunction, Greenhouse, Berlin, Germany
2013. Lieux de Mémoire, curated by William Lunn. Summarria Lunn Gallery, London, UK
2013. Women Commentators, curated by Anna Walewska and Leonida Kovač, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
2013. Dysraphic City, curated by Rebecca Heidenberg et al. Projektraum Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
2013. Nouvelles vagues – Looking for video, curated by Valentine Meyer and Marion Papillon. Claudine Papillon Gallery, Paris, France
2013. Traces, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE
2013. Abstract Generation: Now in Print, curated by Kim Conaty. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA
2013. Visual Arts Festival Damascus, curated by Charlotte Bank and Delphine Leccas, DEPO, Istanbul, Turkey
2013. Conflicted Memory, curated by Gwen Sasse and Helen Waters, Alan Cristea Gallery, London, UK
2013. Tireless Refrain, curated by Sohyun Ahn. Nam June Paik Art Center, Gyeonggi-do, Seoul, South Korea
2013. 25 Years of Arab Creativity, Bahrain National Museum, Manama, Bahrain
2012. Kochi-Muziris Bienniale 2012, curated by Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu. Kerala, India
2012. Drifting, curated by Valerie Smith. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
2012. 25 ans de créativité arabe", curated by Ehab Ellabban. Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
2012. 201111111s, curated by Mirak Jamal and Nine Yamamoto-Masson. LEAP-Lab for Emerging Arts and Performance, Berlin, Germany
2012. The Unexpected Guest, curated by Lorenzo Fusi. Liverpool Biennial 2012, Liverpool, UK
2012. Chkoun Ahna — On the Track of History. Carthage Contemporary, National Museum of Carthage, Tunisia
2012. Languages of Revolution, curated by Jana Johanna Haeckel. Kleine Humboldt Galerie, Berlin, Germany
2012. Social States: Baptiste Coelho and Nadia Kaabi-Linke, curated by George Unsworth. Pump House Gallery, London, UK
2012. Lines of Control – Partitions as a Productive Space, curated by Iftikhar Dadi, Hammad Nasar and Ellen B. Avril. Herbert F Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
2011. El arte contemporáneo en el Magreb: dos orillas, curated by Brahim Alaoui. Circulo de Bellas Artes Madrid, Madrid, Spain
2011. The Future of a Promise, curated by Lina Lazaar. Collateral event during the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2011. Based in Berlin, curated by Angelique Campens et al. KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
2011. Different Abstractions". Green Cardamom, London, UK
2011. Drawn from Life, curated by Hammad Nasar. Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, UK
2010. One Year in Berlin. Christian Hosp Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2010. Split, curated by Moataz Nasr. Darb 1718 Contemporary, Cairo, Egypt
2009. Aftermath, curated by Mohamed Abouelnaga. 25th Alexandria Biennal, Alexandria, Egypt
2009. Drawn from Life – Drawing Form, curated by Nada Raza. Green Cardamom Gallery, London, UK
2009. Provisions for the Future, curated by Isabel Carlos. Sharjah Biennial 9, Sharjah, UAE
2009. Tunaction. Gallery Itinerance, Paris, France
2008. Urban Traces, curated by Sabine Ziegenruecker. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Berlin, Germany
2008. Without Borders: Hispano/Maghreb Artistic Convergences, curated by Abdelkrim Ouazzani. 30th Pontevedra Art Biennial, Pontevedra, Spain
2008. Art Connexions: Arab Contemporary Artists. Gallery El Marsa, Tunis, Tunisia


2021.The Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE
2020. FRAC Pays de la Loire, France
2020. Fondation François Schneider, Wattwiler, France
2020. The Khalid Shoman Collection, Amman, Jordan
2019. Art Jameel Collection, Dubai, UAE
2018. Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2017. The Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
2017. JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, New York, USA
2016. Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA
2016. Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York, USA
2015. Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
2015. Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
2014. The Burger Collection, Hong Kong
Fondation Villa Datris pour la Sculpture Contemporaine, L’Isle-sur-La-Sorgue, France
2014. M+ Museum, Hong Kong
2013. ARTER, Vehbi Koç Foundation Contemporary Art Collection, Istanbul, Turkey
2013. Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2012. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
2011. Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland
2011. Abraaj Group Art Collection, Dubai, UAE
2009. Ministère de la Culture et de la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine, Tunis, Tunisia
2021. VCU Arts Qatar ✕ Fire Station Museum, Doha, Qatar
2020. Beyond the Border – #DCfromhome, in conversation with Peter Doroshenko. Dallas
2020. Contemporary, TX, USA #online
2020. A Bottomless Silence, with Rotana Shaker. Wallach Art Gallery, New York. #online 
2019. World Frontiers Forum, Berlin, Germany
2019. Speaking Power – Artist Talk with Justine Ludwig. Jane Lombard Gallery, New York, USA
2018. Academy of Arts and Architecture – Artist Talk with Daria Pashchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine
2018. On Radicality, Persistence and Resistance. Creative Time Summit, Miami, Fl, USA
2018. Versiegelte Zeit / Sealed Time – Artist Talk with Stephan Berg. Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
2017. Contemporary Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Confrontations, Dialog, and  Misconceptions, Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin, Germany
2017. Localism, Universalism and the Cultural Underpinnings of Understanding Art, Flax, Academy of Arts, Berlin, Germany
2016. From Faces: Kaabi-Linke, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia
2016. Matter Matters – Book Launch, hosted by Justine Ludwig. Dallas Art Fair, Dallas ,TX, USA
2016. Matter Matters – Book Launch, hosted by Hoor Al-Qasimi. Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE
2015. Bani Abidi and Nadia Kaabi-Linke in conversation with Iftikhar Dadi and Nada Shabout, hosted by Justine Ludwig. Dallas
2015. Contemporary, Dallas, TX, USA
2014. NO Screening. Nadia Kaabi-Linke and Timo Kaabi-Linke in conversation with Nat Muller. Iniva, London, UK
2014. Future Rewound. Nadia and Timo Kaabi-Linke in conversation with Rachel Jarvis and Falko Schmieder. Goethe Institute, London, UK
2014. Culture Now: Nadia Kaabi-Linke in Conversation with Lorenzo Fusi. ICA, London, UK
2014. Stranded / Preso por fios. Nadia Kaabi-Linke in conversation with Isabel Carlos Center for Modern Art, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, UK
2012. Spectral Encounters. Dortmunder U – Centre for Art and Creativity, Dortmund. Jahresring 59 Release. KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
2012. Nadia Kaabi-Linke in Conversation with Eric Mangion". Villa Arson, Nice, France
2012. Black Is the New White. Nadia Kaabi-Linke in conversation with Sara Raza. Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai
2012. Artist Talk: Nadia Kaabi-Linke in Conversation with Arsalan Mohammad. Soho House, Berlin, Germany
2011. Nadia Kaabi-Linke and Baptiste Coelho in Conversation with Hammad Nasar". National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
2011. Artist Talk with Martina Corgnati. Fondazione Horcynus, Messina
2011. Artist Talk with Hammad Nasar. Green Cardamom Gallery, London, UK
2011. ACAP Winners Artist Talk with Sharmini Pereira. Art Dubai, Dubai

Slected writings:

"Bonner Fragmente kompiliert aus den Zetteln einer Ausstellung / Bonn Fragments compiled from the notes to an exhibition." In: Scheuermann, B. J., Kaabi-Linke, N. und T. (ed.), Versiegelte Zeit / Sealed Time (Catalogue), Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld 2018, 145-178.
"Extras Reloaded. Proposal for spectral deportation of extraneous persons by applying a photosensitive suspension." In: Rashid Rana (ed.), Present Elsewhere. 15 Invitations, Asia Art Archive, 2017, 117-133.
"What Hamlet Never Dared Dream of — Some Reflections on Aisha Khalid's Exhibition I Am and I Am Not / Wovon Hamlet nicht zu träumen wagte — Zur Ausstellung I Am and I Am Not von Aisha Khalid" (Catalogue). Zilbermann Gallery, Berlin 2017, 16-25.
"Matter Matters: Nadia Kaabi-Linke < 2016:", edited by Timo Kaabi-Linke, Kerber Publishing, Bielefeld 2016. 
"Was die Zeit übrig lässt: Der Dingbezug als methodologische Voraussetzung für einer interkulturelle Kunstgeschichte / Remains of time: object-reference as a methodological prerequisite for an intercultural art history" In: Maupeu, S., Schankweiler, K., and Stallschus, S. (ed.) "Im Maschenwerk der Kunstgeschichte. Eine Revision von George Kublers »Shape of Time«, Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin, 2014, 205-224.
"The Future Rewound and the Cabinet of Souls," edited by Rachael Jarvis. Mosaic Rooms Exhibition Catalogues – A.M. Qattan Foundation, London, 2014.
"Preceding Backwards: Forensic Interventions as Artistic Practice". Art Asia Pacific, 2014, Nov/Dec Issue 91, 2014, 123-128.
"Technik im Ausnahmezustand: Wenn Dinge widerspenstig werden / Technology in states of emergency: when things become unmanageable" In: Nohl, A.-M. and Wulf, C. (ed.), Mensch und Ding. Die Materialität pädagogischer Prozesse. ZfE – Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, Sonderheft 25 (2013) 16:267-285.
"On Revolution and Rubbish: What has Changed in Tunisia since Spring 2011." In: Downey, A. (ed.), Uncommon Grounds. New Media and Critical Practices in North Africa and the Middle-East, I.B. Tauris, London, New York, 2014, 318-331.
"Black is the New White." In: Prōtocollum 2014/15. Dickersbach Kunstverlag, 2014. 40-43.
"Stranded / Preso por fios" (Catalogue), edited by Isabel Carlos. CAM – Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 2014.
"Mich interessiert mehr die chaotische, konkrete Realität / I'm More Interested in Messy, Concrete Reality." In: Stepken, A. (ed.), On One Side of the Same Water, Jahresring 59 – Jahrbuch für moderne Kunst, Hatje Cantz, Osfildern 2012, 171-188.
"Wohlstand, Sicherheit, Endzeitstimmung und der Begriff des Überlebens. Ein Gespräch mit Falko Schmieder / Prosperity, Security, Apocalypse, and the Concept of Survival. A conversation with Falko Schmieder." In: testcard – Beiträger zur Popgeschichte #21, 2011, 188-195.
"Geo-Coding Contemporary Art?" In: Contemporary Practices Vol. IX, 2011, 102-105.
"Venetian Diary — Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Flying Carpets (2011)." In: Pereira, S., Footnote to a Project, Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dubai 2011, 313-425.
"Nadia Kaabi-Linke: Tatort / Crime Scene" (Catalogue). Kerber – Edition Young Art 2010. 
"Qu'est-ce que la contemporaneité dans l'art contemporain?" In: Triki, R. (ed.), Le Contemporain des arts, Editions Wassiti, Tunis 2011, 93-104.
"Silence and Roar: A Duet for the History of Things." In: Petar Barišić – Site-specific Installations 2008-2009 (Catalogue), Centro Culturale Teresa Orsola Bussa de Rossi, Tunis 2010, 25-28.
"Überleben und Zusammenleben: Das anthropologische Problem und die Bedeutung des technischen Handelns." In: Ternes und B. Jung, T.(ed.), 'Menschen' formen Menschenformen. Zum technologischen Umbau der conditio humana, Sine Causa Berlin 2009, 79-94.
"The Myopic Lens." In: Ana Opalić – Afterwards (Catalogue), Centro Culturale Teresa Orsola Bussa de Rossi, Tunis 2009, 19-24.
"San Paolo und das Kino als hermeneutische Agentur / Saint Paul and the Cinema as hermeneutic agency." In: off topic #0, KHM Cologne 2008, 48-59.
"Essay oder Sprache als Versuch. Dreizehn Bemerkung zu Stil & Form," in: Plateau #4, Sine Causa Verlag, Berlin 2008, 44-51.
"Mass Media and Role Models: Pretesting the Idea of Apparative Hermeneutics." In: monochrom #26-34. 
"Vertigo. Technogene Kinemtographie in der orbitalen Ästhesiologie," in: Plateau #2, Sine Causa Verlag, Berlin 2005, 86-89.

Awards, Residencies, Grants

2020. Goethe Institute Research Grant for The Blindstrom-Project, Kyiv, Ukraine.
2020. François Schneider Award, Wattwiler, France.
Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman, Jordan.
2019. The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon.
2017. Kunststiftung NRW, Germany #online
Lalbhai Family Residency, Ahmedabad, India.
2014. Resident artist at Mosaic Rooms, London, UK.
2014. Discoveries Prize, Art Basel Hong Kong.
2012. Resident artist at the Villa Arson, Nice, France.
2011. Abraaj Group Art Prize, Dubai, UAE.
2011. Resident artist at Delfina Foundation, London, UK.
2010. First prize "UmbauStadt", Art and Urban Architecture Competition, Berlin, Germany.
2010. Al Mawred Al Thaqafy Grant, Cairo, Egypt.
2009. Jury Prize  at the 25th Alexandria Biennal for Mediterranean Countries, Alexandria, Egypt.
2008. Production Grant from Centro Culturale Teresa Orsola Bussa de Rossi, Turino, Italy.
2000. Foreign Exchange Scholarship in France for Master’s and PhD studies from the Ministry of Higher Education, T