Monday, 23 November 2015

AUC to Host the Egyptian Surrealists in Global Perspective Conference in Conjunction with Sharjah Art Foundation

A conference, “The Egyptian Surrealists in Global Perspective,” hosted by the Visual Cultures program at The American University in Cairo (AUC), in collaboration with the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University and Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF).

Focusing on the history and the evolution of the Egyptian Surrealist group and their relationship with their western and international counterparts, this conference is conceived as part of a larger project that will document one of the most interesting chapters of modernism in the late 1930s up to the early 1960s, highlighting the multifaceted aspects of modernity and its global interconnectedness in the 20th century.

Through a series of discussions, the conference will present the historical background of Egyptian Surrealism, its connections to other surrealisms and global expressions, and the philosophy and aesthetics of the movement in relation to the larger Modernist experience in Egyptian art. Presentations on the last day will focus on key artists who were part or witness of the movement, and discuss Egyptian Surrealism from different artistic and critical perspectives.

The conference will be followed by a travelling exhibition entitled “When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938–1965),” to be inaugurated at Sharjah Art Foundation in 2017 in Sharjah, UAE, followed by an exhibition in Cairo, Egypt, and other venues in Europe, North America and Asia.

Participants include  Emad Abou-Ghazi, professor, archival studies, Cairo University; Gerard Aching, director of the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University; Hoor Al Qasimi, president, Sharjah Art Foundation, Monique Bellan, researcher, Contemporary Art and Theatre, The Orient-Institut, Beirut; Jean Colombain, independent researcher, publisher and archivist, Paris; Clare Davies, art historian, assistant curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Amina Diab, art historian, University of York, UK, Bachir El Sibaei, poet, historian and translator, Cairo, Adel El-Siwi, artist, art critic and translator, Cairo; Terri Geis, curator of academic programs, Pomona College Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Hisham Geshta, literary and art critic, editor, Al Kitabah Al Ukhra, Cairo; Samir Gharib, journalist, art critic and writer, Cairo; Hala Halim, associate professor, Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies, New York University, USA; Mona Khazindar, historian, curator, literary critic and former director, Institute of the Arab World, Paris; Malek Khouri, professor, Film Studies, AUC; Nagla Samir, associate professor, Visual Cultures program, AUC; Bahia Shehab, director, Visual Cultures program, AUC; May Telmissany, associate professor, Cinema and Arabic Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada and Mohsen Wify, film historian, critic and translator, Cairo.

Oriental Hall, AUC Tahrir Square

Opening, Thursday, November 26, 2015; 4:00-6:00 PM
Friday, November 27, 2015; 9:00 AM-7:45 PM
Saturday, November 28, 2015; 9:30 AM-7:00 PM