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THE WRITTEN WORD Curated by AIDA ELTORIE

VERNISSAGE: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2ND 6:00 PM RUNS UNTIL: JANUARY 14TH, 2013 Open daily from 10:30AM - 9:00PM

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com

SALAH TAHER IBRAHIM SAAD AMMAR ABO BAKR OSMAN ANDREW YOUNG MOHAMED HASSAN MUSTAFA EMARY AHMED FAHD


THE WRITTEN WORD Opening the doors to The Written Word, we are met with the timeless spectacle of the works of a great pioneer, Salah Taher (1911 - 2007), an honored guest whose art is an unrivaled milestone, accredited by his sole progenie Ayman Salah Taher. During the selection of this exhibition, we aimed at contrasting the classical pen and ink calligraphy of the Khatat, with fine art of both the studio and the streets. By exhibiting work from such diverse forums, the visitor can sample The Written Word that is happening NOW in Cairo. Mohamed Hassan, Ahmed Fahd and Mustafa Emary represent the fine masters of calligraphy, all working within the discipline and yet developing subtle and delightful innovations. Meanwhile, Osman Andrew Young honors the spirit of calligraphy and takes the viewer on a partly abstracted ethereal journey digitally and on canvas. Finally, Ibrahim Saad and Ammar Abu Bakr are two fine artists who throughout the course of the past 2 years adopted the street as their murals. Here in The Written Word the younger generation who seeks to adopt the importance of writing a ‘statement’ as opposed to reciting a popular verse, have their say. Our sequence of works starts with the unrivalled milestone of Salah Taher’s earlier work. Visitors are greeted by seven of his pivotal works inspired by the single written word “Howa”. In all its divine simplicity, Howa simply reaching out to the heavenly “Him”, was a movement not many historians wrote about during or after Salah Taher’s lifetime. He captured the importance of his life work through creating abstract purposes to this one meaning, this one word, this one work of art made in thousands of multiple ways during the 1980s and 1990s; all capturing the essence of what this great painter was able to achieve from his lifetime knowledge of existence. Howa evokes a connection to “HE, who is beyond naming”, a connection beyond that of the human realm, in adoration of the Almighty. The Written Word occupies its walls with 7 prominent names, honoring one another in such a way that only the spectator can bring forth the values of their collective meanings, in the context of today’s contemporary Cairo. All residents of the city, we open the doors to a formative younger generation, supported by a timeless pioneer at its entrance. – Aida Eltorie

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


IBRAHIM SAAD Ibrahim Saad received his BA degree at Faculty of Fine Arts. Working at the Jesuit Cultural Center in Cairo as coordinator for the Visual Arts Program, Saad has been an active patron in the arts since 2002 where he had participated in group exhibitions; from the Cairo Atelier, to the Palace of the Arts Youth Salon, Gezira Arts Center, Townhouse gallery of contemporary art, and residencies in China, Holland and Switzerland. In the past, Saad has worked at the Townhouse Gallery’s “Sawa” workshop and “Sawa Generation”. In addition, he taught art to children at the Artellewa Gallery. One of the founding members for the Young Artist’s Coalition, Saad embraced street art as a centerfold to his efforts in returning street art into the hands of its community. His work can be considered as an investigation into the depths of the human soul, as he tries to find new ways of communicating human emotions by combining the written word up against child-like drawings reminiscent of freeflow sketches, and ink-blotting layering multimedia photographic prints. Saad models himself in his performances, photography and video projects, and is most known for his Award winning work “Welcome Back,” a project that defined statements like: Put the Word “Angels” in a sentence; and My City Does Not Know Fear. In his investigation of the city structure, does he occupy covered monuments, and dissect them into hidden realities of histories lost, histories manipulated, and histories hidden. Ibrahim Saad uses his written words to further the wonders of its true meanings.

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


AMMAR ABO BAKR Quran: Voice of the Revolution and its Sacred Witness The inclusion of Quranic verses into contemporary Graffiti was aimed at revealing a plan: Creating a confrontation between the security forces and their bearded agents. While drawing attention and publishing strategic plans across the walls of Mohamed Mahmoud St., was their an aim to remove the religious nature that some fractions of anti-revolutionists had tried to add to the events after the January 25th Revolution, allowing for attributed fights against bearded agents who were also members of Islamic parties and candidates in the elections, and resulted in voting results to be in favor of such concurrent movements. This act immediately eliminated the spectacle of liberty and social justice to Egyptian rights, and the elections had coincided with the most violent scenes, starting with those witnessed in the first battle of Mohamed Mahmoud, where security forces had used chemical bombs with poisonous gas against the uprisers, whilst banners of bearded candidates had covered Egyptian streets and districts with Quranic verses and sayings, majority of which were wrongly attributed to the Prophet and customized to their personal political interests; urging the electors to vote for bearded candidates who fraudulently fought on the “side of the revolution” with an aim to apply the Islamic Sharia. A media frenzy had intentionally forgotten the fight of its revolutionists, amongst dozens of victims who fought daily in the streets surrounding the Ministry of Interior. Bearded agents had occupied “space” channels for several hours while misusing the Quran and the Prophet’s sayings on the reward of voting for the candidate who fears Allah and promised (religious) voters with Allah’s satisfaction, His blessings and abundant sustenance. All of such tactics had required the development of graffiti in Quranic form so that it may seem backed by Quranic texts and its sacredness; protecting the receiver from their surrounded confusion with attempts to prohibit them from following the “politicians” who seek “political positions”. It was clear in the text written on the walls of the American University in Cairo’s Library on Mohamed Mahmoud St., at the height of 6 meters and with a width of 15 meters with a portrait of the martyr Sheikh Emad Effat pointing at two verses of Surat Al Ahzab stating: “And they Said: “O Lord, we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they turned us away from the Right Way (67), Our Lord, meet out to them a double reprimand, and lay upon them a mighty curse (68).” Decorated

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


with Persian and Egyptian ornaments similar to the ones used on old Quranic editions, printed before the expansion of Wahhabist and Salafist doctrines that had prohibited the decoration of the Quran and its sacred letters. Text by Ahmed Abul Hassan, Poet / Lingual collaborator of Ammar Abo Bakr

Ammar Abo Bakr is one of the most proactive street artist’s and muralist’s in Egypt today. Abo Bakr teaches at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Luxor, and his drive is to educate and communicate through visual languages, taking his work from the atelier to the public space; his murals are as much about his own artistic expression as they are generating and contributing to a larger dialogue with the public. Teaming up with Azharite poet Ahmed Abul Hassan, Abo Bakr discovers a whole new meaning and value to his work, as he commodifies public art with religion.  Many of his iconic pieces have become famous far beyond Egypt; Abo Bakr’s works have cased walls in Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria, Beirut, Frankfurt, Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels, journaling the Egyptian Revolution’s many turning points, as well as themes about Coptic and Islamic culture, folk art and Egyptian history. He became best known for his mural on Mohammed Mahmoud Street leading into Tahrir Square, honoring the Revolution’s martyrs, giving them brightly colored angel wings in a sign of respect. Together with his fellow artists, Abo Bakr launched the “No Walls” graffiti campaign in March 2012 where he used trompe l’oeil to artistically transform concrete barriers erected by Egypt’s Interior Ministry into visual expressions of hope and life, emblemed by Arabic texts taken from verses of the Koran, does he honor and address the autocratic demonization opposing the spiritual authority enforced by his collective voice – the people.  Welcomed into our space, do we value the religious verses designed in florescent paints, and linearly setup against grey walls, as though secretly appearing only when a set of lights cross against the facade of Abo Bakr’s work, gleaming with outlines of the Arabic form.

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


OSMAN ANDREW YOUNG Born in Tanzania from Scottish English parents, Osman came to Cairo in 1984 after his M.A. in History of Art from St. Andrews University, Scotland. At first he taught English privately and at AUC, and then started working with Arabic calligraphy in 1989. Calligraphy exhibitions include the British Council, the Cairo Opera House, ikan3 Zamalek, and exhibition at AUC. He practices as a homeopath with an International Diploma in Classical Homeopathy (2000) and has diversified into Voice Dialogue, one-on-one Family Constellation, and Emotional Freedom Techniques. He has been teaching adult drawing courses for the last twelve years using Betty Edwards’ Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and also applied color theory courses. For eight years he was an affiliate faculty member with AUC’s Performing and Visual Art department, where he taught drawing, calligraphy, art history and creativity. Currently he teaches in AUC’s Rhetoric and Composition department and also Who Am I? –Explorations in Consciousness and Self Across the Disciplines. He sees his artwork, complementary medicine and teaching as different approaches to consciousness work.

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


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Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


MOHAMED HASSAN Mohamed Hassan received his diploma from the Institute of Arabic Calligraphy in Giza (2001) followed by a Masters of Gilding from the same Institute in 2003. Member of the General Egyptian Calligraphic Group, and the collective of artists and writers at the Cairo Atelier, Hassan is also a board member for the union of the Egyptian General Society for Arabic Calligraphy. He teaches at the Faculty of Applied Arts & Sciences in the German University in Cairo, and participated in several local and international exhibitions from 2002 until today, in places like the Cairo Opera House, Hanager Hall, Ebdaa’ Cultural Centre in Alexandria, Saad Zaghloul Cultural Centre, Forum for Arabic Calligraphy in Sharjah (UAE), amongst several significant exhibitions in Kuwait, Istanbul and Germany to name a few. Hassan received several local and international acknowledgements, awards and certificates from his exhibitions in Turkey and UAE.

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


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Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


MUSTAFA EMARY Mustafa Emary, is a fine artist and a Professor of Arabic Calligraphy specialized in the art of calligraphy and its illuminations. Running workshops and actively involved in Group Exhibitions between Alexandria, Giza, Cairo, Tunisia and the Saint-Étienne in France, Emary has been an active member of the General Egyptian Calligraphic Group, the Syndicate of Plastic Arts and the Arab Society for Plastic Arts and Applied Graphics since 2006. He designed the writing on the first Mosque that arose in Cape Town, and wrote 3 copies of the Holy Quran for publishing houses, receiving an excellence award in the competition of calligraphers’ drafts.

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


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Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


AHMED FAHD Ahmed Fahd is a fine artist and Arabic Calligraphy teacher at Khalil Agha School in Cairo. Holding a Diploma in Arabic Calligraphy with a specialization in Gilding, he is a member of the General Egyptian Calligraphic Group, and a practitioner of Law, Fahd is a member of the Egyptian Bar Association, and received certificates of merit from the Cairo Opera House. He had the honor of decorating a mosque with Thuluth calligraphy in Egypt, while also working for a period of time at the Ministry of Culture. He held several workshops while also attending prominent group exhibitions in Egypt, UAE, KSA and Turkey. Pieces of his work were acquired for private collections, he has won several medals and is an award-winning artist recognized by the Cairo Opera House, and the National Association for Arabic Calligraphy. He scribed an entire copy of the Holy Quran for publishing houses in Egypt, and continues to produce eloquent works from within his own style of writing.

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


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Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9TH 7:00 PM

TALKS & SCREENINGS KHALED D. RAMADAN D-RAMA-DAN, 14 mins (2005) LINGUISTIC DRAMA / TRAUMA ON CLASS IDEOLOGY AND CULTURAL CHAUVINISM A video production by Chamber of Public Secrets, Khaled D. Ramadan Q&A with Director after the video screening A man writes with a parker pen across the facade of a recycled page, facing an audio diagram with no particular reading beyond a code that changes every time the page is turned. A narrative appears after a scene of a black labrador enjoying its freedom by the river, under the tunes of Sam Cooke’s 1963 hit “A Change is Gonna Come”. The scene then converts into this page turning narrative, unidentified, but physically present. A young girl from South Bronx, NY, narrates her story as a child, and her impression of a writer who wrote infamous childhood novels and how she felt about him. “I was raised not to believe anything that was told to me, I had no choice. Raised not believe anyone who told me that I had no control over my life and my well being… My family’s political background made me question, any and all fairytales, children’s stories, and anything that made things too easy… I was not the only one who got tired of prince’s and princess’ stories… But I was probably a little bit harsh at 5 years old. I was a child and not aware of ‘him’ as a real person, aware of ‘him’ from his stories but not his life.. a very concentrated group of stories, I can only look at them through my eyes, a childlike perspective. So, A Little Mermaid… and the Princess and the Pea, I was offended that there were so many of those stories. There was too much happening to all of these people. Why should I care if anything happens to this Princess.. I could not invest myself in ‘his’ stories and characters. They seemed too artificial, it seemed to be false. Teaching me a right and wrong that did not apply to my life. I saw him for the first time in Central Park, he was sitting across from me… he seemed to be quite the snob who was definitely writing for the rich people… I was from the South Bronx, so definitely not from the people he was writing for.” The written words then begin disappear…

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9TH 7:00 PM

TALKS & SCREENINGS HAYTHAM NAWAR THE INTEGRATION OF WRITING SYSTEMS IN EGYPTIAN VISUAL CULTURE Haytham Nawar tackles the migration of lingual form through its chronological visual integration. Starting with his cultural heritage, referencing ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for their pictographic qualities, that had then gone through stages before it reached Greek alphabets and the Arabic language. Greek alphabets became integrated into the Egyptian language with the Coptic form; starting at Hieratic, it then became Demotic, Coptic and finally ended with Arabic as the primary language. Multilingualism had always existed in integrated cultures, and Nawar’s visual study presents us with the ancient importance of shared GrecoEgyptian cultures to where we are today in contemporary society.  HAYTHAM_front.pdf

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Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


TALKS & SCREENINGS BIOGRAPHIES Khaled D. Ramadan is an archivist, transformative documentary maker, curator and consultant. His fields of specialties are the culture and history of documentary and experimental film aesthetics, with interests in the fields of aesthetic journalism and documentary film history research. He has studied at Edinburgh College of Art, has a master degree in architecture and Diploma in documentary film production. Ramadan has occupied a variety of positions such as senior advisor and curator, for the Manifesta Foundation, Amsterdam, Finnish Art Council, the Danish Art Council and the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA). He curated projects for institutions like, Manifesta 8, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Modern Art, China, and UCCA Beijing, Danish Film Institute, Nikolaj, Copenhagen Art Center and the Nordic House Reykjavík, Iceland. Ramadan’s works are shown around the world at major festivals, TV stations and museums, like Rotterdam Film Festival; Cinema Paris; KIASMA Museum in Helsinki; Queens Museum, NY; Hamburg Film Festival; Docu-days Beirut; Video Brazil; Der Kunstwerk in Berlin; Sidney Film Festival; Milano Film Festival and San Francisco Arab Film Festival; Press TV and Al-Jazeera TV. In 2009, Al-Jazeera TV produced a documentary about Ramadan’s activities and achievement. In 2009, Ramadan was given the Achievement Award of the 11th Cairo Biennial. Ramadan is member of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT) and AICA, The International Association of Art Critics. Haytham Nawar (born in Egypt – 1978) is an Artist, designer and researcher, lives and works currently between Egypt, USA and Switzerland. Nawar’s practice is interdisciplinary and incorporates the mediums of drawing, printmaking, light and sound installation, video and photography. He is Fulbright Research Affiliate SVA School of Visual Art NYC. He received a BA degree in Fine Arts, a master’s degree in Fine Arts majoring in New Media from Cairo, Egypt and another master’s degree in Art, Design and Technology from Zurich University of the arts, Switzerland. Nawar is currently PhD Candidate at The Planetary Collegium, Center for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts, School of Art and Media - Faculty of Arts, University of Plymouth in England. He is also a member of Member in ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale), TDC Type Directors Club, USA. The Syndicate of Plastic Arts in Egypt, the Cairo Atelier for artists and writers and the Associations Internationale des Critiques d’art (AICA), Paris, France. Since 1998, he has participated in several international exhibitions, biennales, triennials, and workshops. Nawar won awards and acquisitions: in Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Egypt, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Syria, UAE and United States.

Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5TH 7:00 PM

ARTISTS TALK

MEET THE ARTISTS Contemporary Arts Salah El Din St., Zamalek, Cairo 11211 - Egypt t +202 2736 5772/3 f +202 3337 8670 www.6cairo.com - info@6cairo.com


The Written Word_Kalimaat