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Art Agenda: 1-15 November

Cairo galleries present artwork by contemporary artists attempting to navigate Egypt's tumultuous past two years through art

Ahram Online, Thursday 31 Oct 2013
Artwork by Hazem Taha Hussein. (Photo: Courtesy of Al Masar Gallery)
Views: 3036
Views: 3036

Against the backdrop of continued political change and uncertainty, Egypt's contemporary art scene this November reacts to two-plus years of tumult and transformation.

Contemporary artists working in a variety of mediums are offering interpretations of the country's dishevelled socio-political identity, giving the public an alternative way to experience unfolding events.

The first half of November will feature a diverse collection of art shows; from solo exhibits by emerging visual artists such as Ali Abdel Mohsen and Bassem Samir, to collective exhibitions at Medrar and The Art Lounge, among others.

This is a Dream Come True: Ali Abdel Mohsen at Mashrabia

Artwork by Ali Abdel Mohsen. (Photo: Courtesy of Mashrabia)

In his latest solo exhibition "This is a Dream Come True," contemporary artist Ali Abdel Mohsen presents his reflections on the events sparked by the 18-day uprising in January 2011. To Abdel Mohsen, the past two years have demonstrated the real driver behind human history: dreams. It is the perpetual pursuit of contrasting dreams that ultimately yields creation and destruction, according to the artist. Abdel Mohsen's collection takes form mainly through geometric shapes and patterns.

Exhibition opened 20 October and runs until 14 November.
8 Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo.

Roznama Two: Collective Exhibition at Medrar

Artwork by Ahmed El Shaer. (Photo: Courtesy of the artist)

Featuring artwork by nine emerging visual artists, Roznama promises a collection that deals with contemporary socio-political realities. Working in a variety of mediums, the exhibited artists strive to circumvent direct representations of events. Instead, the artists present nuanced artistic productions that provide insight into the human experience surrounding socio-political change.

The artists showcased in this second edition of Roznama include Ahmed Elshaer, Ahmed Badry, Ahmed Sabry, Asmaa Elkolaly, Kareem Osman, Mahmoud Hallwy, Marwa Elshazly, Mena Elshazly, and Wessam Quraish.

Exhibition runs until 16 November.
7 Gamal El Din Abou El Mahasen Street, Garden City, Cairo.

Faces and Features: Caricatures of Indian and Egyptian personalities at the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture

One of the works displayed at the exhibition (Photo: Courtesy of the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture)

An exhibition featuring works by members of the Egyptian Caricature Society. The collection includes depictions of prominent Indian figures from the field of politics, art, literature, and cinema, to be shown alongside leading Egyptians in similar fields.

The exhibition opened 30 October and runs until 14 November (except for Fridays and Saturdays)
23, Talaat Harb, Downtown, Cairo

OMG: Bassem Samir at Safarkhan Art Gallery

Artwork by Bassem Samir. (Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Safarkhan Gallery)

This multi-media exhibition by emerging artist Bassem Samir is the product of years of observing Egyptian society and its transformation. Combining a mixture of conceptual photography, installation, music, video and other elements, Samir attempts to capture the state of chaos he believes Egypt to be in today. "The concept behind the works is a blend of the current revolutionary, political, and social state with a phenomenal ancient history that is long forgotten," the artist's statement reads.

Exhibition opens 5 November and runs until 27 November.
6, Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

The Mirage II: Hazem Taha Hussein

Artwork by Hazem Taha Hussein. (Photo: courtesy of Al Masar Gallery)

The Mirage II presents the latest collection of works by artist Hazem Taha Hussein. Recognisable for his layering of geometric Islamic motifs over abstract figures, Hussein adds text to some of his paintings to address recent changes in the country's political landscape.

Exhibition opens 10 November and runs until 3 December.
Baehler's Mansion 157b, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

Fifth Generation: Collective Exhibition at The Art Lounge

Artwork by Sami Aboul Azm. (Photo: Courtesy of The Art Lounge)

Contemporary artists Essam Darwich, Hamdi Attia, Ibrahim El-Dessouki, Sami Aboul Azm and Kareem El-Qurity will showcase their latest artworks in a group exhibition opening 10 November at The Art Lounge.

Exhibition opens 10 November and runs until 3 December.
Baehler's Mansion 157b, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

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