A week separates Egypt from one of its biggest cultural events in 2021, “Forever Is Now” exhibition. The international art exhibition aims to both reflect the profound, global influence of ancient Egypt and draw on the ongoing inclusiveness of contemporary cultural practices, which is practiced by both Egyptian and international contemporary artists.
The 10 participating artists are Russian artist Alexander Ponomarev; American artist Gisela Colón; Brazilian artist João Trevisan; French Artist JR; Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn; Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr; Egyptian born, Los Angeles- based artist Sherin Guirguis; British artists Shuster and Moseley; British artist Stephen Cox RA; and Saudi Arabian artist HRH Prince Sultan Bin Fahad.
Art D’Égypte will hold its 4th annual exhibition entitled “Forever Is Now”, the first international art exhibition to take place at the Giza Pyramids and the surrounding Giza Plateau. The event is scheduled for 21 October 2021.
This project was made possible thanks to the support of numerous partners, including the US Embassy in Egypt, Dior, Badya Palm Hills, Orange, Sawiris Foundation, Orascom Pyramids Entertainment (OPE), African Export–Import Bank, Hany Saad, Signify, and Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment.
Every artist has something unique & interesting about them
JR the street-artist who leads quite a celebrity lifestyle but likes to stay anonymous, no one knows his real name or what he looks like without the glasses and the hat.
Lorenzo Quinn, the artist who is known for expressive recreations of human hands, is actually the son of Oscar Award winning Mexican American actor Anthony Quinn.
The American contemporary artist, Gisela Colón, has a unique sculptural language of Organic Minimalism with breathing lifelike qualities into reductive forms.
A member of the Saudi royal family is actually participating in the exhibition. Prince Sultan bin Fahad was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Fondazione Alda Fendi, Rome, Italy 2020 and 2021.
The British artist, Stephen Cox RA, was commissioned by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to produce a sculpture for the New Cairo Opera House.
Egyptian Sherin Guirguis who was born in Luxor, engages with craft and ornamentation, traditionally associated with women, to bring sacred geometry into her work.
Moataz Nasr is also an Egyptian artist from Alexandria. He is the founder of Darb 1718. This self-taught artist gained local recognition marked by many prizes before breaking into the international art scene in 2001.
The British couple Edward Shuster and Claudia Moseley are represented by ESPACE in the Middle East.
Alexander Ponomarev, spent years as a sailing crew officer on different ships of the Russian Navy before embarking on a career as an artist.
The Brazilian painter, João Trevisan, has a different starting point as he collected discarded railroad ties and iron scrap including bolts and plates which were later assembled as sculptures.
‘Forever Is Now’ incorporates Community Engagement Program
On the sidelines of the main exhibition at Giza Plateau, “Forever Is Now” has also incorporated a Community Engagement Program which involves the surrounding community in the process of putting together this exhibition and includes free UNESCO-led public lectures to train youth as Art Guides and Heritage Guardians for the duration of the exhibition.
Those Guides are actually students from different Egyptian Art Colleges. The program is under the auspices of Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and under UNESCO patronage.
Art D’Égypte introduced a community engagement project that was sponsored by UNESCO. On 20 December 2020, it held interactive edutainment activities, to students from the Giza governorate schools, about the intangible cultural heritage and how to safeguard it.
On 17 October, the exhibition held a lecture and the speakers were both from UNESCO, Gehane Nabil and Fatma Mostafa and the lecture was held at the UNESCO Natcoms headquarters. The activations were held in parallel to the kick off launch event preparations in 2020.
Art D’Égypte also hosts regular sessions to ensure providing the tools necessary for the community in order to help it develop alongside the arts and culture scene. Additionally, Art developed a colouring book “Egypt is a Beauty” with author Hala Sarofim, the colouring book instils the idea of preserving Egyptian history, heritage and how to treat Egypt’s heritage. The colouring book is supported by UNESCO Natcoms.
Art D’Egypte has also launched a series of exclusive never-before-seen online content aimed to educate, inspire, and inform the youth of today through LIVE chats, a podcast, an IGTV series and more. Contributing to the creative economy and helping to democratize art. Right after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit, Art D’Egypte mobilized its resources in order to keep the art alive however possible. The company launched a cultural podcast that renders conversations about art accessible and free for all, hosting local and international artists, prompting deep conversations about arts and culture. Additionally, the event launched an online exhibition platform on Artsy, alongside two virtual exhibitions. As well as a YouTube channel that encompasses all the videography and audio content under one platform.
Free lectures and panels and community engagement programs have helped hundreds of young people from the neighbourhoods surrounding the historic sites acquire a sense of ownership and pride in the initiatives and in their shared heritage.
World’s first robot artist Ai-Da
Using cameras in her eyes, Ai-Da robot can identify what’s in front of her and commit it to paper by hand, in her own unique staccato, impressionistic style.
The artificial intelligence robot makes drawings, paintings, and sculptures. It was named after English mathematician Ada Lovelace.
She gained international attention when she was able to draw people from sight with a pencil using her bionic hand and cameras in her eyes. Ai-Da’s drawing arm is designed and programmed by two Egyptian students at the University of Leeds; Salah El Abd and Ziad Abbas.
Real heroes behind this exhibition are all women
The team behind this amazing event are all women who have a strong background and extensive experience in the Egyptian art market.
They aim to develop strong local, regional, and international collaborations to enhance and promote the rich Egyptian art scene. Art D’Égypte aims to bridge the gap between Egyptian artists and the world and to support young artists and artists with scarce funds to get their work displayed and published. Cataloguing Egypt’s modern and contemporary art heritage is a further goal of the company through the development of documentaries on modern Egyptian artists.
The company’s strategy is to organize a yearly pop-up show in a historic place in Egypt to shed light on the country’s abundant cultural heritage and to connect the art of Egypt’s past with that of the 21st century. This, the fourth edition follows three highly successful exhibitions: Eternal Light at the Egyptian Museum (2017), Nothing Vanishes, Everything Transforms at the Manial Palace (2018), and Reimagined Narratives on al-Mu‘izz Street (2019). By raising awareness, the team’s target is to help preserve Egypt’s heritage and advance the international profile of modern and contemporary Egyptian art, presenting a different view of Egypt to the world.
The team includes Art D’Égypte founder, curator, art consultant, and cultural ambassador, Nadine Abdel Ghaffar; Executive Director of Exhibition, Malak Shenouda; Executive Art Director, Hana El Beblawy; Exhibition Coordinator, Salma Al Khalid; Programme Manager, Nada Hassab; Senior Assistant Curator, Hanya Elghamry; Senior Architect, Rawan Abdulhaleem; Public Relations and Communications Director, Mariam EL Tagoury; and Social Media Manager, Alaa Elsayegh.
Exhibition encourages international artists to produce their work at Egyptian Factories
Besides being the first of its kind to be hosted at the Pyramids Plateau, the upcoming “Forever Is Now” exhibition brings in renowned international artists like Alexander Ponomarev, Sherin Guirguis, Stephen Cox RA, and Sultan Bin Fahad. The event encouraged them to produce their work for the exhibition at Egyptian Factories like Meuble ELChark, Marmounil, and Mapso, bringing in around EGP 2m to these entities which in turn provide jobs for thousands in their factories.