Monday, 31 March 2014

D-CAF: Hassan Khan

What I miss most of all is the accessibility of art here in Cairo. I know its around and things are happening and there is a lot of crazy good artistic talent that is both cemented and up-and-coming, but if you have not got your finger on that pulse it is hard to keep up; well for me anyway. Instead of going to art galleries, sometimes, or mostly, a raw public space is the perfect place to showcase art. This one is utilizing the front of shops down the Kodak Passageway just off Adly St, just tucked to the side in bussiling Downtown.

As this exhibition was the only event happening under visual arts at D-CAF (Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival), I had to go; but also cuz it was Hassan Khan, one of the early influencers of Egyptian modern art. Though more internationally celebrated, this was the first time for him to survey so much of his work in Egypt. His creations span over time and medium, from the early nineties up until now, experimenting with music, video, sculpture, portraiture and writing.
So, we got there a little late but it was fine. People were hanging out outside, the shop shining from inside out with its temporary gallery face lift. Inside was quiet apart from the movement of feet and Mr Khan's voice giving a TV interview. We circled the room, observing the pieces on display, questioning each other on what  the thought behind each piece could be. To be honest, we had fun with this because everything was so random. Perhaps getting people to wonder and discuss was part of the aim of this exhibit, as there were no explanations to any of the pieces. I asked a few questions to the exhibition staff, who were very friendly and helpful, but it was a good job I researched a little before hand.
Sculpted oxymoron. Glass which is fragile and could smash into a million pieces by a slip of a finger, depicts a piece of thick rope tied in a knot, which one would think is strong, sturdy and unbreakable; it could signify what ever you want it to.
The alphabet book. When I saw it, I liked it, but I didn't understand it. The pictures with each letter were abstract and for many, I could not find a link between the image and the letter. Searching about it now, I know that Khan's idea was to take inspiration from his actual dreams, take an image from that and match it to each letter of the alphabet. I'd like to re look at that book now and delve into his psych with new understanding.
Video & Text '17 and in AUC.' I sat for a few minutes in front of a tiny TV set and squeezed the headphones to my ears. What I was watching was Khan pace around a mirrored room, being filmed and unknowingly watched by people from the outside. For 14 days, Khan spent his time in this room, smoking, drinking and chatting to himself, a verbal diary of sorts. During this time and through booze influenced monologue, which some would say is when you are at your most truthful, he reflects/attacks on his time spent attending the AUC, one of Cairo's most prestigious universities. Next to the TV was a display of books (which I had to make sure wasn't an art installation) which have every word uttered by Khan in those 14 days written from top to bottom of each page.
The Twist (2012) stood at the center of the room; an iron coated steel structure, that depicts a circular form 'that begins and ends with itself.'

The Exhibition runs from 31st March to 26th April 2014 and like all things of real worth, its FREE.
If your interested, check these out too>>

Artists Walk Through of Exhibition with Hassan Khan
Kodak Passageway
4th April - 10am
Register at www.sharjahgallery.org (limited spaces)

Artists Talk with Hassan Khan
Cairo Atelier
9th April - 6pm

'The Artist as a Portrait of a Young Man' - talk by Nadia Ghouse
Oriental Hall, AUC
22nd April - 6pm

Taraban - Music by Hassan Khan
Falaki Theatre
26th April - 8pm
20LE




Thursday, 27 March 2014

Shock Art

I love experimenting with different media, even more unconventional media, say things like pieces of plastic, hair, twigs and leaves, sandpaper and so on... maybe that's my preschool teacher character coming out. But this guy, takes that to a whole new level and a dangerous one at that. How exciting!

Phillip Stearns is a NY based artist who has imagined an amazing project called 'High Voltage Image Making.' Can you guess what medium hes using to make these crazy cool images? Oh, just some Fujifilm instant colour film, various household cleaning products (bleach, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, salt, rubbing alcohol) and uh, 15,000 volt neon tube blast!

The result is strangely beautiful and organic, like looking under a microscope. It's fascinating to see what a pure natural force can create, every one unique. Stearns comments, 'I find it curious and exhilarating that the impressions left behind after developing these extreme exposures so perfect resemble networks of blood vessels in the retina.'

Click on his name above and check out this Electronic Artist and watch the video below!








Saturday, 8 March 2014

PFW Top Picks

Yep, I follow the collections as and when they go live on the inter-web. These are my FAV from Paris. 

                                                                    VIONNET


relaxed structure



chunky knits



green 


felt



ISABEL MARANT



oversized 



more green :D




tomboy


monochrome






COMF!
                                                 
                                                 PACCO RABANE

 tessellate




breast plate


texture



 sportslux






soft chain-mail



clean lines





      UNDERCOVER

 theatrics


outerwear


threaded scarves
          weave 

wrap



head to toe cobalt                                





demon queen



       BALMAIN



armour


animal print

predator


BOSS

     leather
 strong


peplum


box pleats
BALENCIAGA


asymmetry   


cocoon      

reworked fabric



forest green

turtle necks   
leather wrap              

     


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Architecture of Density

Check these photos out! German photographer, Michael Wolf, who is a resident of Hong Kong, took these to portray the lack of lateral space that most residents have to live with there. Instead of moving out, people move up, resulting in the high rise concrete jungle that is Hong Kong today.

'Architecture of Density' is a series of pictures that highlights the repetition of pattern, resulting in a sort of visual appeal. For me, it is quite mesmerizing, yet quite frightening and sad. I thought it was bad here in Cairo, the way people build on top of each other, sandwiching building after building, but at least many of the buildings here have their own unique designs, so you have some recognizable identity. In these Chinese apartments, you are but a speck in a mass of uniform windows, but at least there is some colour! These photos would make a really cool print or a knit somehow!










*photos from designboom.com

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Street Walkers

Valentines stroll after a heavy meal at the in-laws. Valentines Day is never a big deal for us. When I was away I would send a card but that's about it. He is the sweetest but least romantic person I know and when he tries its just so awkward. Poor thing. He only needs to crack a joke and i'm smitten! 


Dress - Topshop//Sweater - Primark//Shoes - Converse//Sunnies - Brick Lane