SYRA Arts and The Untitled Space are pleased to present the group show “Debunking Orientalism: A Group Show of Contemporary Egyptian Art” curated by Nagla Samir and featuring works by emerging and established artists who live and work out of Egypt. The show will run from April 12th – 17th, 2016. Artists include: Ahmed Morsi, Adel El Siwi, Armen Agop, Essam Darwish, Farouk Hosny, Galila Nawar, Marwa Adel, Mina Nasr, Mohamed Ardash, Muhammad Mahdy, Ramses Marzouk, and Yasser Rostom. Additionally the exhibit will be showcasing jewelry by acclaimed Egyptian designer Azza Fahmy, who has created collections for Matthew Williamson and Julien Macdonald, and has been featured at The Louvre.
“’Debunking Orientalism’ is an exhibition that aims to create a new vocabulary in the hope of bringing a deeper insight to an old vision of the Eastern world, through Egyptian artists who are finding their own unique language that speaks to the universal humanity… It is important to explore how contemporary Egyptian artists have not only challenged the status quo, but have also expressed a genre of art so unique to the true culture of the Middle East that ‘Orientalism’ as it was constructed as a device of understanding the region, unravels as truly fictitious.”
– Curator Nagla Samir
The exhibition offers a window onto a landscape comprised of a multiplicity of approaches, styles and engagements by artists working simultaneously and engaging with various narratives within the art scene in Egypt. In recent years, the art of the region has been subject to a cultural clustering which effectively flattens the varied artistic production by viewing it as contingent upon geopolitical context. Egypt’s long history with Orientalism has subjected it to both internal and external visual paradigms that epistemologically cling to such Eurocentric notions.
The diversity of artists represented in this show celebrates the pluralism and dynamism of the contemporary Egyptian art scene. More recently, awareness has grown, of the value in acknowledging the multiple changes taking place over different timelines around the world. This exhibition hopes to further that awareness and challenge perceptions about art in Egypt that still stem from Orientalist impulses.