Born in 1978 in Tunis (Tunisia)
Lives and works in Berlin (Germany)
Nadia Kaabi-Linke was born Tunis, Tunisia 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, Kiev, and Dubai, and now residing in Berlin, 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. Kaabi-Linke has had solo exhibitions at Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azevedo Perdigão, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2014); The Mosaic Rooms, London (2014); and Dallas Contemporary, Texas (2015). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011); Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2012); Musée National de Carthage, Tunisia (2012); Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw (2013); Nam June Paik Art Center, Seoul (2013); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2014), and Marta Herford, Museum für Kunst, Design und Architektur, Herford, Germany (2016); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016). She also participated in the Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2009); Alexandria Biennial for Mediterranean Countries (2009); Venice Biennale (2011); Liverpool Biennial (2012), and Kochi-Muziris Biennial, Kerala, India (2012).
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), on view at KB17, she reflects on the absurd difficulties of her own application as a Tunisian for entry into the United Kingdom in order 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. Also on view at KB17 is a performance work entitled “Healing,” done in collaboration with Karachi-based artist Samina Islam. The work involves stitching, text, jasmine flowers, and their perpetual upkeep.