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06 Jun 2014

Basim Magdy at State of Concept, Athens

Basim Magdy - 'Our Shadows Gasped at the Sight of Their Own Multiplying Shadows'
State of Concept


Opening Friday 6 June 8pm Gallery hours: Wed-Thu-Fri 3-8pm Sat 12-4pm or by appointment 7 June-6 September 2014


+30 2130 318576

State of Concept
Tousa Botsari 19
11741, Athens

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State of Concept is happy to present the first solo exhibition of Egyptian artist Basim Magdy in Greece, entitled 'Our Shadows Gasped at the Sight of Their Own Multiplying Shadows'.

The exhibition consists of the film 'The Dent, 2014', commissioned by the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014 and presented in Art Dubai in March 2014, a new photographic work commissioned by State of Concept, and the work 'A 240 second analysis for Failure and Hopefulness (With Coke, Vinegar and Other Tear Gas Remedies), 2012'.

In 'The Dent', Magdy uses Super 16 mm footage shot in Paris, New York, Venice, Prague, Basel, Brussels and other locations, creating a fictional narrative about an unnamed city that might very well refer to Athens. His surrealistic film describes its inhabitants, their dreams and their disappointments as they crave for international fame. They apply to host the Olympics and purchase rare archaeological spectacles, only to find themselves tricked into failing. They try again until they finally accept that fate is their unbeatable enemy. The film seems like an ode to hope but also to the human condition of repeating the same mistakes, presented via Magdy's visual calendar, where we are transferred from a construction site to an aging lonesome elephant with nothing to lose, under the influence of an undefined musical orchestration and a narration of his own texts.

In the work 'A 240 second analysis for Failure and Hopefulness' Magdy presents 160 photographs in the form of slides. Shot over a period of one month and developed through an elaborate process of exposure to common household chemicals, the images depict a demolition site as it emerges into a construction one. For this process, Magdy has selected liquids such as vinegar, coca cola and others, which have been used as anti tear–gas remedies by demonstrators throughout the Middle East over the past few years. Once applied to the slide film, the household chemicals distort the color palette of the slides in unusual ways, resulting in an unlimited number of variations. The notion of reconstruction and a sense of the absurd, is presented through an impressive colour prism.

Basim Magdy was born in Assiut, Egypt 1977. Lives in Basel and Cairo. Using a variety of media, he constructs narrative structures that explore the space between reality and fiction's contribution to science, history, culture and the dissemination of knowledge.

Selected shows include 13th Istanbul Biennial; Jogja Biennial, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Dissident Futures, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Solar, The High Line, New York; Sharjah Biennial, Confronting the Monster in a Monster Costume, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris 2013; Future Generation Art Prize, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev; La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Transmediale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2012; Rencontres Internationales, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Institut Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt; D-O ARK Biennial, Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina; MASS MoCa, North Adams 2011; Ateliers de Rennes Biennale, Rennes 2010; Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel 2009; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Vigo 2008; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville; Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing 2007; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao; Neue Kunsthalle St. Gallen and Art in General, NY among others. He is the winner of the Abraaj Art Prize, Dubai 2013 and was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize, Kiev/Venice 2012. In 2014 his work will appear in La Biennale de Montreal and MediaCity Seoul Biennial and in a solo show at Art in General, New York among others.

His work has appeared in Art Forum, Art in America, Frieze, Modern Painters, Flash Art and in newspapers such as the New York Times.

For more information please contact and +302130318576, +306945472694

With the support of the OUTSET Foundation

And the Prohelvetia Foundation

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