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Debunking Orientalism by SYRA Arts

April 12, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - April 17, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

SYRA Arts and The Untitled Space are pleased to present the group show, “Debunking Orientalism,” featuring works by emerging and established artists who live and work out of Egypt, from Cairo, Beheira, Sohag and Alexandria. The show will run from April 13th – 16th, 2016. Artists include: Ahmed Morsi, Adel El Siwi, Armen Agop, Essam Darwish, Farouk Hosny, Galila Nawar, Marwa Adel, Mina Nasr, Mohamed Ardash, Muhammad Mahdy, Ramses Marzouk, and Yasser Rostom. Additionally the exhibit will be showcasing jewelry by acclaimed designer Azza Fahmy.

The exhibition offers a window onto a landscape comprised of a multiplicity of approaches, styles and engagements by artists working simultaneously and engaging with various narratives within the art scene in Egypt. In recent years, the art of the region has been subject to a cultural clustering which effectively flattens the varied artistic production by viewing it as contingent upon geopolitical context. Egypt’s long history with Orientalism has subjected it to both internal and external visual paradigms that epistemologically cling to such Eurocentric notions.

The diversity of artists represented in this show celebrates the pluralism and dynamism of the contemporary Egyptian art scene. The works resonate locally and internationally, without necessarily pandering to the model of ‘hybridity,’ which has been a favored mode through which to view regional art – as operating in a liminal space between East and West. Some of the artists work out of Egypt, whilst some engage directly with their surroundings, and others create an altogether unique visual vernacular.
More recently, awareness has grown, of the value in acknowledging the multiple changes taking place over different timelines around the world. This exhibition hopes to further that awareness and challenge perceptions about art in Egypt that still stem from Orientalist impulses.

“’Debunking Orientalism’ is an exhibition that aims to create a new vocabulary in the hope of bringing a deeper insight to an old vision of the Eastern world, through Egyptian artists who are finding their own unique language that speaks to the universal humanity… It is important to explore how contemporary Egyptian artists have not only challenged the status quo, but have also expressed a genre of art so unique to the true culture of the Middle East that ‘Orientalism’ as it was constructed as a device of understanding the region, unravels as truly fictitious.”
– Curator Nagla Samir

Since its establishment in 2011 by Sylvia Van Vliet Ragheb and Randa Fahmy Aboul-Nasr, Syra Arts has been dedicated to bringing cutting-edge artists representing the variety and depth of the Middle East to art lovers and discerning collectors. By introducing artists who express their strong roots in art that transcends cultural barriers, Syra Arts is at the forefront of conversations that pave the way to understanding and appreciating the exciting and forever changing region.

“Debunking Orientalism” is an exhibition in which Syra Arts teams up with renowned curator Nagla Samir, aiming to give art enthusiasts an opportunity to explore the many layers of Egyptian identity and to travel through time unveiling different styles and mediums. ‘Debunking Orientalism’ hopes to challenge all preconceived notions and perceptions one might have on Oriental art; and to engage in discussions on creativity of expression and how it is affected by race, religion, creed and politics.

For more information about the exhibition or to request images, please contact Sylvia Van Vliet Ragheb at sylvia@syra-arts.com


April 12, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
April 17, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
Event Category:


The Untitled Space
45 Lispenard Street
New York, New York 10013

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