Art Alert: Goethe event explores fusion of Islamic heritage and contemporary art

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Mar 2019

The event will feature experimental film Spin by German artist Ginan Seidl and a sound art performance by Egyptian sound artist Yara Mekawei

Tehran, “Mirzadeh Eshghi, 3 July 1924”, 2012, Digital Print on Photo Paper (Photo: Azadeh Aklaghi)

The Goethe Institute in Cairo will host an event exploring the connection between Islam and contemporary art on Saturday, part of a series of such events being held internationally.

The “Forgotten Enlightenments: Unknown Stories about Islam in Contemporary Art” event will feature the experimental film Spin by German artist Ginan Seidl and a sound art performance by Egyptian sound artist Yara Mekawei.

The screening and performance will be preceded by a keynote addressed from Michael Arzt, artistic director HALLE 14 Center for Contemporary Art and Heba Nayel Barakat, head of curatorial affairs at the Islam Art Museum in Malaysia (IAMM).

The "Forgotten Enlightenments” project will culminate in an exhibition in HALLE14 in Leipzig, from 27 April to 4 August.

The Cairo event will also conclude a four-day exchange workshop comprising discussions and excursions between the Egyptian and international artists, scheduled to take place in Cairo between 6 and 9 March. 

The artists have been visiting famous Cairo landmarks and museums, as well as some of the city’s art galleries.

The evening aims to explore the fusion of Islamic heritage and contemporary life in Muslim-majority countries, tackling questions such as: can classical forms such as mosaics, shadow theatre or miniatures be interpreted in a contemporary way and expanded with new technologies such as video, computer and sound art? How do spiritualities such as those of Sufism connect with current aesthetic, societal and social issues? How do young artists defend themselves against despotism and the rhetoric of war, as well as against stereotypical role models of gender, origin and faith?

Saturday 9 March at 7pm
Goethe Institute, Dokki, Cairo

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