For the 2012 Biennial, Kaabi-Linke’s newly commissioned project NO is a two-channel video installation, presenting a dialogue in which a crowd, without power despite their numbers, opposes an individual voice of authority.
The work focuses on the rigorous VISA process that many must go through in order to enter the U.K. Kaabi-Linke draws a parallel between these contemporary regulations and the Holy Inquisition, in which brutal judiciary procedures presumed a guilty verdict without a fair hearing.
NO also considers ideas of immanence and transcendence, and the way in which the situation in the film might also stand for a switch between the bureaucratic voice that governs the physical borders we may cross, and the supernatural border between life and what may exist beyond it.
Kaabi-Linke’s work relates to the way geography and politics informs the identity of both the individual and the collective. It also questions the role played by memory in the constructions of broad categories such as nationhood and local traditions. The artist describes her process and the resulting work as performing a “kind of archaeology on contemporary life”.
Nadia Kaabi-Linke, b. 1978, Tunis, is an artist who lives and works in Tunis, Tunisia and Berlin, Germany. Kaabi-Linke’s exhibitions include Provisions for the Future (9th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates, 2009) and Lines of Control (Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, U.S.A., 2012).