Paradox{on} – EU House of Delegation

Essam Abdallah_Hey, what's going on #1 Sameh Ismail_Untitled #2 Ramy Dozy_Farkhaa Series     Ali Abdel Mohsen_Terra Nova #7


Entitling our exhibition “Paradox{on},” is intended to present the formalities of contradiction. Playing off of the saying “Your On!” or “The game is On!” in a competitive manner, only seeks to oppose the elements being faced simultaneously without determining who the winner will be until the game is triumphed by one party or the other. There can only be one winner in any game, and the Paradox{on} is that play of conflict created from opposing forces – be it human, environmental, or even celestial, the paradox is that force of change from one element to another, from one embodiment to the next – only for one eventual force to triumph from the balance and harmony it was principally brought into.

And for that reason, we honor five Egyptian artists, in their triumph to present their own idea of contradiction. A world that compatibly exists within another, seeking to build, develop and create – also seeks to destroy, fight and challenge the commands of resistance.

Essam Abdallah presents us with an approach designed not to be dictated, but to be apprehended in its own light of interpretation. An illustration of characters, two in each storyboard window carry a dialogue that as simple as it is presented, can also be quite complex, humorous or even misunderstood. “Hey, what’s going on?” and with the homogenous answer “I don’t know,” advises the reader to observe, and interpret without having the need to develop the idea beyond their own personal understanding.

Ramy Dozy takes us a step further by fusing the important relationship between the written word and text in the form of an intelligent poster. Placing the image of a dinosaur, and then echoing below the term: “My school is nice, clean and advanced” What you would typically find graffitied on the school wall, or chanted during the morning line-up – has been asked to be reconsidered here with the displacement of the object above it.

Ali Abdel Mohsen also digresses into the world of displacement. Illustrating creatures of no definitive form, he realizes the existence of a new world order, operating simultaneously with the real world order. Projecting all its incongruences, all of its flaws onto a recyclable material – cardboard boxes used to transport consumer goods – he exposes a consumed culture.

Sameh Ismail composes the conflict in harmony as he searches for the movement between “shape” and the “form of typography” in Arabic text. “I cannot deviate away from the element of calligraphy, the central element in my work. The line eats the form, and the form eats the line. They keep overtaking each other on the canvas’ surface and I keep trying to save them from one another.” From this rhythmic dance between text and form, does he discover the energy between an abstract word and an even more abstract object – neither of which succeed over the other, but simply compliment and empower their sidings.

Then finally we are presented with the Goddess of truth and balance in Nermine Hammam’s Ma’at. Seeking the iconic image of the woman, and where she stands in relation to the male substance, the artist places her own iconic image of a singular presence of a “woman” that allowed her to search for the various empowerments women physically withhold. Grounded embodiments, almost lifesize figures of historical icons, fused with contemporary knowledge, motivated a performance of creating the emblematic significance of the female figurine, protected in a box of preserved benefaction.

We are proud to have had the opportunity to show these works from five prominent artists who have proven their creative eloquence and cultural importance in contemporary Egyptian history. Under such a special occasion and honoring the departure of the Ambassador H.E. Marc Franco of the European Union’s House of Delegation, do we also take great pride in honoring his wife Ms. Rita Janssen, for her well-gained support in the socio-political awareness of the arts and culture from Egypt and Palestine.

– Aïda Eltorie, January 2012

Paradox{on} Press Release

Paradox{on} Work List

Nermine Hammam_Untitled #2 from The Maat Series

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