The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, December 26, 2014


Dictums: Egyptian artist Wael Shawky exhibits new works at Lisson Gallery in London
Dictums Manqia I, 2013. 4K Ultra HD video. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.
LONDON.- One of the most powerful and urgent voices to emerge from the Middle East in the last decade, Wael Shawky explores systems of belief and reinterprets faith, myth and history through the lens of the modern media. At Lisson Gallery, Shawky presents a new work, Dictums: Manqia I (2014), in which herds of prize black camels are driven across the desert, perhaps en route to one of the prestigious camel parades or beauty pageants that are held in the Gulf region, known as mazaynas. These rare, dark breeds of camel are coveted across the Arab world, with those winning ‘best in show’ often being traded for astronomical sums and even appearing on their own dedicated television channels. Having previously worked with the indigenous cultures and traditions of nomadic Bedouin tribespeople, Shawky similarly charts patterns of physical, economic and intellectual migration in this video, shot by the artist on location near Abu Dhabi.

The overarching title of his exhibition, Dictums, refers to a live performance originally produced for the Sharjah Biennial in 2013 in which Shawky assembled 30 workers of primarily Pakistani origin, to clap and chant through a recital by two professional musicians or qawwals, trained in signing traditional Sufi ballads. The words to their song were culled from a curatorial statement of the biennial and translated into Urdu, creating a hypnotic, harmonic, if largely indecipherable, rendition of the kind of opaque artistic language generally associated with contemporary art discourse. As with all of Shawky’s films, this piece combines astute observation of its subject matter with a keen sense of institutional critique.

Just as the full title of this sound piece (for the first time to be accompanied by a new documentary film), Dictums 10:120, recalls the chapters of a holy text, Shawky has combined the sacred and profane in previous works, such as his early video Cave (2006), in which he walks around a brightly lit supermarket breezily reciting a surah or chapter of the same name from the Koran.

Not only does Shawky’s work straddle documentary filmmaking, performance, animation, music and even puppetry, as can be seen in his major exhibition, al- Qurban, at the Serpentine Galleries (until 9 February), his show at Lisson Gallery also includes new drawings, as well as wall-based assemblages incorporating metal plaques – of the kind found adorning transportation trucks in Pakistan – which have been stitched on to strips of tarmac with galvanised wire.

Based on extensive periods of research and enquiry, Wael Shawky’s work tackles notions of national, religious and artistic identity through film, performance and storytelling. Whether instructing Bedouin children to act out the construction of an airport runway in the desert or organizing a heavy metal concert in a remote Egyptian village, Shawky frames contemporary culture through the lens of historical tradition and vice versa. Mixing truth and fiction, childlike wonder and spiritual doctrine, Shawky has staged epic recreations of the medieval clashes between Muslims and Christians in his trilogy of puppet animations – titled Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show Files (2010), The Path to Cairo (2012) and The Secrets of Karbala (2014) – while his two-part film, Al Araba Al Madfuna (2013), uses child actors to recount poetic myths, paying homage, rather than mere lip-service, to the important
narratives of yesteryear.

Wael Shawky was born in Alexandria in 1971 where he lives and works. Recent solo exhibitions include Serpentine Galleries, London (2013-14); KW Contemporary Art Institute, Berlin (2012); Nottingham Contemporary (2011); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2011); Delfina Foundation, London (2011) and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (2010). He has participated in the 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013); Documenta 13, Kassel, (2012); the ninth Gwangju Biennial, (2012); SITE Santa Fe Biennial (2008); Istanbul Biennial (2005); and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Recent awards include the Award for Filmic Oeuvre created by Louis Vuitton and Kino der Kunst (2013); the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2012), the Schering Foundation Art Award (2011), as well as The International Commissioning Grant and an award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, in 2005. Shawky founded the educational space MASS Alexandria in 2010 and is represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut and Hamburg.





Today's News

February 3, 2014

Kunsthal in Rotterdam opens exhibition on the astonishing story of women's shoe design

Between Mountains and Sea: Blanton Museum exhibition highlights art of ancient Andes

Sotheby's exhibits masterpieces by some of today's most highly sought-after artists at Jeddah Art Week 2014

Fondation Beyeler opens major exhibition of works by French painter Odilon Redon

Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition examines the sport of Soccer

Two powerful photography exhibitions open at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls

Experience the phenomenon of eco-friendly artist Hundertwasser at ARKEN

XTO + J-C: Christo and Jeanne-Claude exhibition opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Exhibition of six contemporary Saudi Arabian artists opens at Ayyam Gallery Jeddah

Dictums: Egyptian artist Wael Shawky exhibits new works at Lisson Gallery in London

International Center of Photography explores creative experimentation since the 1970s

Maharaja's $3 million legendary banquet service unveiled at Faberge Museum

Solo exhibition of new work by the Korean-born, Atlanta-based artist Jiha Moon opens at Ryan Lee

Bohun Gallery opens long-overdue solo show of Joe Tilson's work

"Three Michigan Architects: Part 1: David Osler" on view at The University of Michigan Museum of Art

The business of illustrated calendars on view at the Brandywine River Museum

Air de Paris opens an exhibition with artist Jef Geys

Wellin Museum presents first exhibition of Pranlal Patel's photographs in the United States

Painting arranged as a continuous line by Jean-Baptiste Bernadet on view at Rod Barton

The Weather War: Stockholm-based artist duo Bigert & Bergstrom exhibit at Galerie Barbara Thumm

Stay in bed in February as Bookbed arrives in Peckham

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site