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EGYPT. A painting project by Khaled Hafez at the Safar Khan Gallery in Cairo
21/01/2012 09:57:56

Currently at Safar Khan Gallery is artist Khaled Hafez's painting exhibition titled "On Codes, Symbols & Stockholm Syndrome." His first solo show in two years, the collection of works presents a new twist on his earlier style, although with more depth and sophistication. Like many artists in the past year, Hafez was involved in all the tumultuous happenings. His controversially named video "The A7a Project: On Presidents and Superheroes" won the Bamako Biennial of 2011.

"On Codes, Symbols & Stockholm Syndrome," is a painting project inspired by the events he has lived through in the year 2011, from revolution to its kidnapping and hijacking. The project’s title evolved from his particular interest in the work of Jean Baudrillard who, in his seminal research of cultural specificities, wrote about “simulation” and “simulacra”. We can look at those terms, simplistically, as the “fake and the authentic” in cultures. In what he addresses as the third order he beautifully describes how societies identify themselves by codes and symbols.

For this exhibition the artist created paintings that questioned what it was to be a modern Egyptian today. The title of the exhibition explains a lot of its content. The inclusion of Ancient Egyptian symbols, collage, a bright palette and an unpredictable application of paint are seen again in this collection of paintings. The paintings resulting from this thought process are less enticing than his videos, but more thoughtful and observant, mirroring the general pensive and skeptical attitudes of the people towards the outcomes of the revolution.

For more information see:

Image:  "Two Stockholm Hathurs & One Nute". Oil & mixed media on canvas, 250x200 cm. Courtesy Safar Khan Gallery.


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