Past Exhibition / Youssef Nabil
Time of Transformation
April 24 - June 12, 2013
Youssef Nabil - Time of Transformation
The Third Line is pleased to present internationally acclaimed artist Youssef Nabil’s fourth solo show in Dubai, which premieres the New York based Egyptian artist’s latest body of work. Working with his characteristic technique of hand painted silver gelatin photographs, Nabil introduces us to three new series that reflect upon the clash of archetypes that define the state of his present day home country.
This new body of work explores notions of transition and change as Nabil reflects upon an Egypt that is rapidly transforming and acquiring new ideals that he is unfamiliar with. An alien disconnect that has much more to do with the changing landscape than his physical absence, Nabil presents ephemeral imagery that he feels will soon be lost forever.
The Veiled Women series features women from the fields of art, music and cinema, all adorning the Mediterranean veil. In these portraits, Nabil ruminates about meanings associated with the veil now and how it was once worn in the Mediterranean cultures. By reincarnating the idea of the veil he loved, Nabil provides an allegory that is in sharp contrast to its connotation in the present day. The portraits echo a loss of innocence and the assimilation of new ideals that delineate between sex and religion.
In The Last Dance series, change is explored through the medium of dance. Multiple images of belly dancers caught in whirling movements make up a kaleidoscopic visual frenzy. While the images are sensual in nature, it is the association of the ‘sexual’ with this art form that is now threatening its survival in Egypt. The slow disappearance of these belly dancers is significant of a new cultural identity that is following political shifts in the Egyptian mindsets.
The Transformation panels look at the subtle change in the subject through seven stages. Almost staged as dramatic renditions of reactionary expressions, the work addresses how the artist is personally grappling with, and responding to, the transformations that are taking place within him.