Shadi El-Noshokaty critisizes Ashraf Reda's approach to the Venice Biennale

Sayed Mahmoud, Sunday 12 Jun 2011

The executive curator of this year's exhibit '30 Days of Running in Place' at the Venice Biennale will hold a press conference on 15 June at the fine arts syndicate

A press conference by artist Shady El-Noshokaty will be held on Wednesday to discuss the issues relating to the conflict between the participants in the Egyptian section in the biennale and Ashraf Reda, the head of the fine arts sector.

One of the complaints against Reda is about his removal of Ahmed Bassiouny’s picture from the bienalle’s catalogue. Reda argued the section belongs to Egypt not Bassiouny.

Yet El-Noshokaty has pointed out that each country displays pictures of artists they recognize, giving the example of the German section, which won this year, honour an artist who had passed away.

El-Noshokaty saved the situation last minute by putting Bassiouny’s name on the catalogue's cover using an adhesive tape.

He also criticized Reda's insistence on puting his picture in the introduction of the catalogue while other participants’ names and pictures are placed at the end.

El-Noshokaty added that the Egyptian section has gained a lot of media coverage this year as well as positive feedback from the audience members.

“I have applied for the project by the committee of the Higher Cultural Institute and they have approved it at the beginning of March. I chose Aida El Torei to be the curator and we have started to create a team that has done its job in a professional manner despite the hindrances,” said El-Noshokaty.

“We have faced many problems including getting Visas for Italy,” said El-Noshokaty and announced that further issues will be explained in the press conference.

Noshokaty also announced that the American University in Cairo will release a book featuring all the works by martyred artist Ahmed Bassiouny and would hold an exhibition displaying his life’s work in October and November.

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