Wael Shawky

Drama 1882 by Wael Shawky
at Biennale Arte 2024
Wael Shawky

The Egyptian artist Wael Shawky presents his new work “Drama 1882” at the Egyptian pavilion of the Biennale Arte 2024, commissioned by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the Egyptian Academy, until 24 November 2024.

Wael Shawky, a renowned Egyptian artist, is celebrated for his work across film, sculpture, performance, and drawing, examining and inverting common notions of national and religious identity by recasting historical viewpoints. Shawky’s practice, characterized by rigorous research, is deeply rooted in the history and cultural heritage of the Arab world. His work treats history as a record of subjectively depicted sequences rather than indisputable facts, leading to elaborately choreographed re-stagings and interpretations of historic events.

In his previous works, such as “El Araba El Madfuna” (2012) and “Cabaret Crusades” (2013), Shawky delved into mythologies and medieval clashes, offering new perspectives from the Arab world. In his new musical film “Drama 1882,” presented at the Egyptian Pavilion, Shawky continues his exploration of historical renditions. The film takes the year 1882 and Egypt’s Urabi revolution (1879–1882) against imperial rule as its starting point, recounting the dramatic events that began with a café fight, escalated into riots, and culminated in the bombardment of Alexandria by British forces and the historic Battle of Tel El Kebir.

Simultaneously, Shawky’s solo exhibition “I Am Hymns of The New Temples” is open at Palazzo Grimani Museum until June 30, 2024. Co-curated by Massimo Osanna, Andrea Viliani, and Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Archaeological Park of Pompeii as part of the program “Pompeii Commitment. Archaeological Matters.”

Wael Shawky, born in 1971, is an influential contemporary artist known for his unique approach to historical narratives and cultural identity, gaining international acclaim for his innovative and thought-provoking works.

Website: www.labiennale.org

Location: Giardini, Venice

Schedule: until Nov. 24, 2024

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