Egyptian wrestlers Kesho, Metwally are one step away from Olympic podium    Athletics: Warholm crushes world record in fast, fast Olympic hurdles    BREAKING: Egyptian diver Mohab Ishak qualifies for the 3m springboard final    US expands Afghan refugee program as Taliban violence rises    FM Shoukry asserts Egypt's firm support of Palestinian cause    Art Alert: Award-winning Palestinian film 'Gaza Mon Amour' to screen at Zawya cinema    Moody's affirms GIG Egypt's Ba2 rating, stable outlook – official    Snake Eyes: G.I Joe Origins    Don't miss TAM gallery's group summer show in the North Coast    Sayyedat Alfagr play is now showing at Taliaa Theatre    Egypt's SOLID Capital to launch $250 million fund before year-end    Czech Export Bank earmarks $300 million for new investments in Egyptian market    Turkey battles wildfires for 6th day, EU to send planes    Egypt's Arab Contractors wins bid to develop Lebanon's Port of Tripoli    Refugees pushed to back of the line amid vaccine shortages    Egypt seeks to host 2022 UN Climate Change Conference – minister    Europe's vaccine passes reveal some pockets of resistance    Egypt's FM meets with Algerian counterpart for talks in Cairo    Agency: Trump is due $1M tax refund for Chicago skyscraper    Egypt's Sisi urges developing banking sector performance, stabilising monetary performance    Sudan hopes Ethiopia will come to its senses: FM Al-Mahdi    Governor of Egypt's South Sinai discusses investment, tourism with Serbian officials    'Cooperation with Nile Basin countries key pillar of Egypt foreign policy': Irrigation minister    Qatar appoints ambassadors to Egypt and Libya    Egypt's transport start-up SWVL preps for Nasdaq listing after merger with Queen's Gambit    Russian delegation to visit Egypt today for Sharm al-Sheikh, Hurghada security checks    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Thanaweyya Amma exams resume after Eid Al-Adha holidays    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    Egypt denounces Ethiopia's move to start second filling of giant dam    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Another Place: Susan Hefuna's major solo exhibit opens in Sharjah
Published in Ahram Online on 20 - 03 - 2014

More than 200 artworks, including sculptures, photographs, drawings, video and site specific installations by artist Susan Hefuna, occupy the Sharjah Art Foundation's historic Beit Al-Serkal
Time passes. The artist records it. In her latest solo exhibition, which opened 13 March at the Sharjah Art Foundation, German-Egyptian multimedia artist Susan Hefuna exhibits a large number of artworks that date to as far back as 1983.
Like a time capsule set in reverse, the show has been set up inside Beit Al-Serkal, which was built in the 19th century and acted as the home of the British commissioner for the Arabian Gulf, and was transformed in the 1960s into Sharjah's first hospital. Beit Al-Serkal, restored between 1993 and 1995, now serves as one of the venues for the Sharjah Biennial, and houses a range of exhibitions, workshops and cultural events.
Works executed in various mediums, including drawing, painting, installation, photography, video and sculpture, inhabit the rooms, hallways and corners of the quaint house, and strongly rebel against chronological order.
“This house is like a human being,” starts Hefuna. “The idea behind it is that if you walk into a human being, you would find hidden corners, hidden memories, unconscious things; something from today, something from the past.”
Chaotic and organic, the Al-Serkal exhibit houses Hefuna's rich, meandering art career creating works in three countries — Egypt, Germany and the US — and drawing on influences both from her heritage and daily life.
The exhibition is curated by Sharjah Art Foundation president Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi, who laboured with Hefuna over the course of two years to ensure that the project fully matured before delivery. Through a series of meetings, in Sharjah and in New York, the pair flipped through Hefuna's vast and varied oeuvre and picked out more than 200 artworks for the exhibition.
Walking from one room to the next, climbing some stairs, descending others, stepping into darkened rooms to watch videos, peering into the courtyard where a large-scale installation is erected, the exhibition resembles a mild intensity workout.
“It is as if the house is breathing,” says Hefuna. “When you walk from one work to the other, you have time and space to see the connections.”
Hefuna says the common element that underlies all her artistic endeavours is the concept of structure. Geometric shapes and lines appear and reappear across her works, regardless of the medium.
One photograph, black and white like all the others in this show, is titled "Woman behind Mashrabiya" (1997). The figure in the photograph is blurred, and is seated behind a pattern resembling the carved wood latticework that is typical of Islamic architecture. Two larger wood and white gouache sculptures, created in 2007, hang on the wall, recreating Mashrabiya window panels.
In the daylight, the patterns on the window frames at Beit Al-Serkal appear as shadows on the grey floors, recreating the lines and geometric shapes in Hefuna's white Mashrabiya pieces. Another Place is not one show, but many; experiencing it differs significantly in the daylight from nighttime.
##
Among the most interesting works in the exhibition are a series of drawings of disoriented geometric shapes on tracing paper, which had previously been exhibited at the 53rdVenice Biennial in 2009. Defying the flatness that paper prescribes, Hefuna astutely switched to tracing paper.
“At a certain point, I felt that I wanted the drawings to be more three-dimensional,” Hefuna recalls. “And that's when I started using tracing paper, to add layers so that multiple drawings would interact.”
Hefuna may work in a wide range of media, but she always devotedly returns to drawing. “I am always doing drawing … I just have to do it,” Hefuna says with a mischievous giggle, as if confessing to a secret affair. “It is my favourite medium because it is closest to the inner self," she said. “You don't have to explain everything in words, you know, or to have a big intellectual argument. I think people just see.”
She says that despite her commitment to drawing, it is important for her to work in different media, including sculpture and installation, because it allows for a different experience.
The large-scale photographs scattered across the space punctuate the show with flair. The artist does not let the documentative nature of photography hold her back from abstraction. Ranging from portraits of her family to landscapes in the Nile Delta, these photographs exhibit a very strong texture, and are often out of focus, as if in motion. Her face framed with unruly black curls, Hefuna explains that she purposefully flouts the conventions of photography where “everything should be perfect.”
She would use an old pinhole camera on the street, and develop the photos outdoors. As a result, specks of dirt make appearances on her photographs. “Sometimes it looks as if it's disappearing, or like there are mistakes, and it looks abstract and old-fashioned,” she says.
Hefuna says she was keen on showcasing these works in the West, to observe the reactions and perceptions of the audience. “People would look and see black and white, and palm trees and automatically think they were pictures from the past, because they don't look carefully, they only glance at the surface.”
“The viewer is important … they are responsible for how they choose to look at things,” she says. Dipping into abstraction and conceptual art, Hefuna's work overflows with layers of meaning, that she challenges viewers to untangle.
“My work always has different meanings and layers, it never carries only one message … it all depends on who is looking at the work.”
Vitrines with random, mundane objects are scattered across the space, forcing visitors to peer into them with curious eyes.
Through her recurrent interactions with workers at Cairo's Townhouse Gallery, where she frequently exhibited, Hefuna started to consider how alienated their families were from the world of international curators and artists that pass through the art space. She wondered how the women in these workers' lives spent their time, what their dreams were. She set up meetings with the mothers, sisters, and wives of some of the workers over the course of three months, and visited them in their homes on the outskirts of Cairo.
“Then I asked these women to give me something from their daily life, an object that for them is full of imagination and history, and assembled them in vitrines,” she says. “Even though the women are not connected to the art world, they still have their own fantasies … You know, in Egypt there's always a sense of storytelling and fantasy.”
##
This sense of dialogue, exchange, and mystery characterises Hefuna's artwork, and carries you through the show. The exhibition emerges as a gigantic installation in itself. Hefuna says she built a machete of the house, with all its ins and outs, and toyed around with it for many months to imagine the exhibit's composition and structure. The works in the exhibition can rearranged at random intervals, to create an even stronger sense of movement, and explore the seemingly endless relationships that exist among her different projects.
The exhibition runs until 13 June 2014 at Sharjah Art Foundation's Beit Al-Serkal, Arts Area, Al-Shuweiheen, Sharjah.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/97044.aspx


Clic here to read the story from its source.