June 5th, 2011
This post is made from the Venice Biennale, regarded by many observers as the world's most important art show. We are sitting not far from the Egypt pavilion, where AUCians have been much involved with this year's exhibit– a tribute to artist and musician Ahmed Bassiony, who was killed in Tahrir Square on Friday, January 28.
The director of the show is Shady El Noshokaty, Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing and Visual Arts (PVA). The curator is AUC alumna Aida Eltorie.
Also here were/are Aissa Deebi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing and Visual Arts (PVA); Bruce Ferguson, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS); Graham Harman, Associate Provost for Research Administration.
The Egyptian pavilion offers a powerful mixture of footage from Bassiony's major performance piece of 2010 and additional footage from Tahrir Square taken by Bassiony himself from January 25-27, just days prior to his death. Everything is projected onto multiple side-by-side screens in a pitch-black room.
His February 2010 performance piece, "Running in Place for 30 Days," was intended as a metaphor for Egypt running in place for 30 years, though the political message of the title seems to have escaped the notice of the authorities.
The Egyptian pavilion has been receiving a great deal of media coverage, and we may post some of it here in the Bulletin once the dust has settled from the opening days of the Biennale.
Photo: Ahmed Bassiony performing "30 Days of Running in Place," February 2010.