The GOODS from Polygon Gallery
North Vancouver, BC | This exhibition brings the extraordinary and timely art of Wael Shawky to the west coast for the first time. Shawky’s ambitious, multilayered film productions look at the ways in which history and mythologies are recorded, highlighting the fallibility of cultural memory, while offering critical perspectives on our current narratives of uncertainty and change. Shawky brings into dialogue real and imagined histories of the Arab world in provocative retellings that pose timely questions about truth and fabulation.
The last part of a trilogy of films, Al Araba Al Madfuna III was shot in the temples of the Pharaoh Seti and Osirion in the archeological city of Abydos in Upper Egypt, nowadays the village of Al Araba Al Madfuna. This work is inspired by Egyptian writer Mohamed Mostagab’s short story “Sunflower”, and by the artist’s travels in the region, where he observed local people digging tunnels underground in search of ancient treasures. In Shawky’s theatrical restaging, he employs amateur child actors and film shot in negative to emphasise the many contingencies of historical understanding.
Wael Shawky: Al Araba Al Madfuna
October 18, 2019 to January 12, 2020
EVENTS | Thursday, October 17
7pm A Conversation with Wael Shawky
8pm Opening Reception
Screenings of Al Araba Al Madfuna I and II will take place at The Polygon Gallery during the run of the exhibition.
ABOUT THE ARTIST | Wael Shawky was born in Alexandria Egypt in 1971. He studied at the University of Alexandria and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and is the founder of MASS Alexandria, an artist residency program. His work has been exhibited widely including solo shows at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; Mathaf, Doha; MoMa PSI, New York; Serpentine Gallery, London; and Castello di Rivoli, Turin. He is currently exhibiting at Lisson Gallery, New York. He has participated in major international exhibitions including the Istanbul Biennial, Sharjah Biennial and documenta (13). He is the recipient of the first Mario Merz Prize and his film trilogy The Cabaret Crusades was voted this month as the 7th most important artwork produced in the 21st Century by The Guardian.