Art in Cairo
Throughout this trip I have been trying to search-out the local art scene in the countries I pass through - the galleries & exhibitions of Paris are high on the list of the (few) things I miss from back home. Cairo seemed likely to be a good candidate for a representative of contemporary Middle Eastern & Egyptian art, but searching for galleries here garnered few results.
Townhouse Gallery is one of the most well-known of Cairo’s galleries, and was hosting a small exhibition exploring masculinity—Making a Man Out of Him—by female artist Huda Lutfi. And upstairs, the relatively well-stocked library (photo) provided a pleasant space to while away a couple of hours; burying myself in books and journals I began to question all that I had left behind.
The Stammer exhibition at the Darb centre was rather disappointing. Some work felt “unfinished” as one friend put it; others just seemed incoherent or a blind imitation of works I had seen several years ago in Europe. The view over Coptic Cairo from the roof terrace, however, made up for the mediocre multimedia downstairs.
One of my favourite exhibitions was found whilst walking around Zamalek one afternoon. I stumbled across the Safar Khan gallery where an exhibition by Marwa Adel mixed photography with Arabic calligraphy and other patterns & textures, creating canvases that tended towards graphic design. The work wasn’t incredibly innovative, but it was well executed, and the mix of aesthetic photographs & my current penchant for Arabic meant that I was rather enamoured by her work.