To Egypt with Love II exhibits side by side the works of emerging artists Alaa Taher, Bassem Samir and Hossam Hassan. The three Egyptian photographers flaunt different styles and outtakes on the subject: Egypt, their homeland.
The first edition of To Egypt with Love I was opened to the public at the beginning of the revolution, when artists across the country reacted to the robust events through art. Egyptian artists helped document the people's uprising, emerging as an outlet for expression in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 18-day revolt, then spread throughout the nation's streets and galleries in the following period. Now, months later, the artists decide to capture their enduring love for their homeland. With time to reflect and consider what they find valuable they are able to, more than before, 'express' more, rather than simply 'document.'
“To Egypt With Love I” was both an immediate act of documentation and celebration. Artistic reactions to the uprising were impulsive and fast paced, yet purposeful. Like the revolution, spontaneity and hope pervaded canvases. This trio of photographers zoomed in on the revolutionary dynamics.
The sequel now emerges as an intimate story, a walk down memory lane, a visual reflection that expresses the photographers’ feelings for their country.
While the first exhibition was monopolised by images from the 18 days - graffiti, protestors and Tahrir Square - the photos in this exhibit go a step further. The collection offers a peek into Egypt’s different faces, from the Great Pyramids to Groppi - the landmark coffee shop downtown.
In the vigorous atmosphere at the dawn of the January 25 Revolution, the artists captured the events in a news-like manner; documenting them spontaneously. This time, the artists started reflecting; having the luxury to pick and choose which photos to exhibit, carefully expressing their affection for the nation and its cultural heritage.
Though somewhat random, the assortment is a promenade of endearing surprises. Strolling through the petite gallery becomes an experience akin to flipping through an album of baby pictures - nostalgia comes rushing in as the audience views photos of the places residents have seen a hundred times before.
Snapshots of Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor emerge, capturing each city’s matchless charm in serene, yet vibrant photographs. Hossam Hassan’s digital art and mixed media pieces break the pattern; intriguingly combining different shots of Cairo and infusing splashes of colour that create a dynamic cube that pulls you in and tells stories you cannot ignore.
Now - 23 September
Monday – Saturday
10am -1:30pm and 5 -9 pm
6 Brazil St., Zamalek, Cairo