Past Exhibition / Sherin Guirguis
October 30 - December 5, 2013
Sherin Guirguis - Passages//Toroq
The Third Line is pleased to present Sherin Guirguis’ first solo show in the region. Sherin investigates post-colonial themes of political, cultural and social dogma and feminist activism within the framework of the Egyptian diaspora, both in the public and private spheres. Delving deep into the building blocks of culture and identity, specifically from the approach of a diaspora artist, she presents her interpretation of what it means to be defined by the transformative events of the moment.
For Passages//Toroq, Sherin presents works in two parallel series that address concerns of identity formation, highlighted predominantly in the wake of the mercurial Arab Springs. The title of the exhibition refers to both the literary and historical passages that are quoted in the work as well as the social passageways, or toroq, forged by the revolution. Crucial to its people, the revolution defies the political, social and cultural standards that have been imposed by and grown out of colonization. Sherin references historical developments in Egypt in order to have a clearer insight to the present.
As an Arab-American artist, and part of the Egyptian Diaspora for more than two decades, Sherin’s art practice has involved studying important works of Egyptian literature, music, poetry, design and architecture of the past to be able to contribute to this discourse in the present. She has developed a unique style by selecting decorative and ornamental elements from these sources and shaping a critique through associative juxtapositions. By invoking many meanings of Egyptian identities – for example, one man, one woman; one writer, one activist; one work of fiction and one biography – the artist defines the apparent contradictions of cultural identity, and at the same time, points to the similarities of diasporic life that have now become the norm for many Arab artists.