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12 Mar 2015

Visual arts in Cairo at the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF)

The Incidental Insurgents
Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou Rahme

Great Tricks From Your Future
Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF)


17th March to 11 April 2015, with an evening of performances on March 21 Sunday-Thursday 4-9pm Friday-Saturday 2-9pm Curated by Mai Abu ElDahab

Sarah Morris

Old French Consulate
5 Fadl Street
Downtown Cairo

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All reality is created by language. Language is a tool that combines terms and structure to construct and organise the narratives by which we perceive and understand reality. These narratives collectively make up history, and are also the force propelling us into the future. Language is neither static, pre-determined or necessarily shared but a culmination of many decisions made every single day by everyone. Great Tricks From Your Future asks: Can inventing your own individual language alter your reality, and by extension, your future? All the artists in this exhibition build a specific language for themselves to determine what myths and facts to use to experience the present, and what truths to rely on to proceed into the future:

Basel Abbas (PL) & Ruanne Abou-Rahme (PL/US) weave together seemingly unrelated events, both fact and fiction, as their own investigation of how the radical potential of the present moment might be experienced or understood. In his live performances, Jochen Dehn (DE) takes mundane objects, and through pseudo scientific demonstration transforms them into readily available tools for everyday magic. Basim Magdy (EG) dislocates images from the format and logic where we expect to experience them, turning plausible reality into a lived form of science fiction. In Stine Motland (NO) and C. Spencer Yeh (US) collaborative music, they share a conversation in a language of their own made up of bare vocal sounds. Benjamin Seror (FR) tells stories that bring the figures of ancient mythologies with all their metaphorical weight to experience the present with us. And Bedwyr Williams (UK) likes to explore the worst-case scenario, and makes films that are a glimpse into what happens if certain events or ideas are taken to their logical unobstructed (horrifying) conclusions.

Great Tricks From Your Future includes an ongoing project by artist duo Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou Rahme, a solo presentation of works by Basim Magdy, a performance by Jochen Dehn and another by Benjamin Seror, a concert by Stine Motland and C. Spencer Yeh, and a screening of a short film by Bedwyr Williams.