Art nonprofit bardoLA
announced the new production of a large-scale site-specific work, Here I Have Returned, by Egyptian-born Los Angeles artist Sherin Guirguis. Here I Have Returned is presented as part of an international group exhibition, Forever Is Now, organized by Art DEgypte and its Curatorial Board, taking place at the ancient sacred site of the Great Pyramids of Giza and the surrounding Giza Plateau in Cairo, Egypt. The exhibition is on view through November 7, 2021.
Here I Have Returned is a sculptural monument and homage to the long history of Egyptian women who have lifted and supported Egyptian society and culture over time. The sculptures form is inspired by that of an ancient sistrum, a sacred musical instrument used by the priestesses of Isis during healing and cleansing rituals and processions. Engraved with pharaonic inspired patterns and excerpts from a poem by Egyptian poet Doria Shafik, the piece rises from the sands of Sahara, calling upon us to recall the power and labor of these women.
Visitors are invited to activate the cymbals on the sculpture creating a sense of call-and-response from the present to the past and back. An echo through time, a remembrance of history and an invitation to connect the narratives of the past to our present, the sculpture emanates with the scent of Jasmine oil sourced from local Egyptian farms, celebrating the work of the women who harvest the delicate flowers. The sound and fragrancel act as an ethereal echo of rituals performed here many centuries ago.
Here I Have Returned is both shelter and monument - a site of interaction with the Pyramids, the community, and the visitors from all over the world.
bardoLA is honored to collaborate with Art DEgypte, an all-women team behind the historic exhibition Forever Is Now, the first of its kind to be presented at the ancient site of the Great Pyramids of Giza. Forever Is Now represents a merging of ancient heritage and contemporary art at the oldest and last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which today survives as a UNESCO world heritage site. Art DEgyptes fourth edition is held under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the patronage of UNESCO.
Forever Is Now participating artists are Russian artist Alexander Ponomarev; American artist Gisela Colón; Brazilian artist João Trevisan; French Artist JR; Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn; Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr; Egyptian born, Los Angeles- based artist Sherin Guirguis; British artists Shuster + Moseley; British artist Stephen Cox RA; and Saudi Arabian artist HRH Prince Sultan Bin Fahad.
Born in Luxor, Egypt, lives in Los Angeles, CA. Through her practice, artist Sherin Guirguis audits the symphony of difference and the complexity present in the politics of place. Using site, text and recovered histories as the core of each series, she develops projects that engage audiences in a dialogue about power, agency, and social transformation through art. Her research-based practice is a means to heighten the understanding of marginalized and contested histories, in particular those of women that have often been forgotten and/or erased, with an aim to make the often-invisible work of historically underrecognized women visible once more. Guirguis work engages both formal and social concerns by juxtaposing the reductive Western language of minimalist aesthetics with that of Eastern ornamentation. The connection between the materials, formal aspects and content is crucial to the artists story retelling: materials, colors, and patterns are the visual language through which viewers can access these histories and, through abstraction, experience a sensory activation of the liminal space of migration.
Guirguis artworks are in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Minnesota Museum of American Art, Orange County Museum of Art; the Houston Museum of Fine Art; and the Las Vegas Museum of Contemporary Art. Her art has also been acquired by the Public Art Commission of the Metropolitan Authority of Los Angeles and by the U.S. Department of State, Art in Embassies program. Guirguis has been awarded several prestigious grants and fellowships including, the Zumberge Diversity and Equity Award 2021, 2014-2015 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship, the 2012 California Community Foundation Visual Artist Fellowship, and the Investing in Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation.