Egyptian Pavilion presents Wael Shawky at La Biennale di Venezia

Wael Shawky, a renowned artist from Alexandria, Egypt, represents his country at the 60th Venice Biennale, on display until November 24th.

Wael Shawky, a renowned artist from Alexandria, Egypt, represents his country at the 60th Venice Biennale, on display until November 24th.

His work, which includes film, performance, painting, drawing, and sculpture, explores historical and literary sources to create captivating stories that blend myth, reality, and invention. Shawky’s latest work, “Drama 1882,” is a film of an original musical play centered around the Egyptian nationalist Urabi Revolution against imperial forces during 1879-82.

Inspired by the Venice Biennale 2024 theme “Stranieri Ovunque: Foreigners Everywhere,” the film explores the nuanced discourse on foreignness and contrasts historical occupations with modern perceptions of immigration. The film features classical Arabic singing by professional artists and resembles a dynamic painting with layered, slow-moving backgrounds. The presentation includes vitrines, sculptures, paintings, drawings, and a mirror relief crafted in Murano.

Shawky’s participation in the Biennale marks a critical moment, reflecting on Egypt’s historical occupations amidst current global upheavals. Egyptian critic Yasmine El Rashidi has commented on Shawky’s deep engagement with Arab history and culture, challenging the conventional recording of history as objective fact. His works, rich with spiritual and whimsical elements, offer alternative perspectives on significant historical moments. The Egyptian Pavilion, supported by several galleries and patrons, will serve as a focal point for these discussions.

The mission of La Biennale di Venezia is to foster global cross-cultural exchange and to highlight the significance of art in shaping our culture and society.

Source: E-flux

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