Thursday, April 21, 2011

art and the Egyptian Revolution

How to stop multi-tasking: Focus (do one thing at a time), Filter (delegate so that you don't take on too many tasks or too much information) and Forget (read: exercise, take breaks, clear your head).

The article I linked to above is directed at executives and those in the corporate world, and perhaps with its head stuck in a corporate glass tower can be forgiven for forgetting one key strategy to rid one of multi-tasking: make or engage in art in all of its beautiful diversities.

Making or engaging in art can help us through so many days, whether those days are mundane or difficult. Granted, at times, it may be very, very difficult to produce art when one's world is literally exploding with gunshots, tear gas, and other weapons of violence or one's life is at risk.

But artists never lie still for any length of time. Artists are those unique beings who help us see the world in new ways. Artists also help us to see the world -- that which is right before our eyes, but in our sleepwalking or rushing through our days (and some of us, wrapped up in our cell phones and other handheld digital devices, literally failing to see what is right before our feet).

Artists also enable us to see complex political, social, economic and historical events in ways that, no matter where it happens, we can all bring to our hearts some of that which did happen. Sometimes it makes the heart skip a beat. With art you never know what to expect, so be forewarned: your life may flash before your eyes and you may begin to question all that you have held as truth to date.

Below are links to, and excerpts about, four art exhibits that have risen out of the Egyptian Revolution and can be found in Egypt. Visual art was part of the Revolution, helping the demonstrators-for-justice withstand the forces that Mubarak sent to disable them. But the protesters, those visionaries, would not be silenced.

Here are some visual art/i/facts that speak to the indomitable revolutionary spirit:

1. an exhibit by the state institution, at the Egyptian museum (which will travel Europe, too)

2. an exhibit by university students on the campus of the American University of Cairo

3. an exhibit by artists at a neighbourhood art gallery in Cairo.

4. an exhibit by a Spanish artist inspired by the role of wireless technology in the Revolution

some of the people who were killed during the Egyptian Revolution. image from anamasry

1. Art Exhibition about Egypt’s 25th of January Revolution

The exhibition will first be shown in Cairo and then tour 14 European countries [...] [and] will consist of a collection of art in various media created by Egyptian artists to reflect their views on Egypt’s Revolution, and it will also include a photo gallery showing scenes of Tahrir Square as well as the demonstrators. [...]

a collection of archaeological replicas will be included with the exhibition. [...] these replicas are meant to reflect some themes of the Revolution, for example a replica statue of the Egyptian goddess of truth and justice Ma’at symbolizing the concept of justice, while peace and prosperity will be symbolized by the god Osiris, god of the afterlife.

[...] photos of people who died during the Revolution as well as some of their personal belongings, such as their clothes and flags they held, will also be displayed with the exhibition. [...]a collection of books about antiquities will be provided for the exhibition, including those printed by the MSA, a selection from other archaeologists, and those by Dr. Hawass. In addition, a collection of brochures and newsletters concerning Egypt’s archaeological sites and tourist attractions will be on display in an attempt to promote tourism from within the country and outside.

After the exhibition has completed its tour in Egypt and Europe, Hawass announced, it will be placed on permanent display at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), now under construction in the Al-Fustat area of Old Cairo. The purpose of the NMEC is to display the history of Egyptian civilization from prehistoric through modern times, and this exhibition will make it complete, Hawass stated, displaying the latest saga in Egypt’s modern history.


2. at the American University in Cairo:

‘Tahrir!’ Photography exhibit opens on campus.

A selection of more than 100 photographs taken by 20 professional photographers was displayed at the “Tahrir!” photography exhibition launched last Sunday, April 3 at the Photographic Gallery, Abdul Latif Jameel Hall [American University of Cairo].

The Tahrir exhibition captured the true celebratory spirit of life in Tahrir during the Egyptian revolution. “We wanted to make it a group exhibition with as many photographers as possible to show the different angles of the revolution,” said Nora Bahgat, the curator of the exhibition.


3. at the Art Corner Gallery in Cairo:

Yasser Rostom. white doves attacked by red-eyed ravens.

Artists express dark detainment, cruelty, the rise of Egyptians and the euphoric victory of the 25 January Revolution in an Art Corner Gallery exhibition. Proceeds from four paintings will be donated to hospitals.

4. Egyptian Revolution goes 'Wireless'

Spanish artist Xavier Puigmarti exhibition ‘Wireless’ is on at the Mashrabia Art gallery [downtown Cairo], a tribute to the Egyptian RevolutionA few steps up, inside one of the European-style buildings in downtown Cairo, the Mashrabia Art Gallery was packed with Egyptians, foreigners and the media, to view the latest artwork by Spanish artist Xavier Puigmarti at his 'Wireless' exhibition, which opened on Sunday 10 April 2011.

Puigmarti’s exhibition includes colourful abstract visuals that express the freedom that Egyptians have achieved, through wireless communication connections and technology, during the massive protests that took place in Tahrir Square and ended when the president Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

“Although I began working on these pieces shortly after the Egyptian revolution had begun, I had the idea of ‘Wireless’ before the revolution,” says Puigmarti. “I wanted to speak about wireless technology and its effects on the modern world we live in,” he explains.

1 comment:

Merche Pallarés said...

Very interesting post, I'll come back with more time. Right now I'm off to Formentera. Hugs, M.