Hassan Khan at Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival Cairo

Detail from The Twist (2013), stainless steel sculpture, 322 x 13 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Hassan Khan has never before presented such a large number of works in Egypt as he will at Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival Cairo on Kodak Passageway.

Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) is Egypt’s only international multi-disciplinary contemporary arts festival that takes place over three weeks in March-April each year, at multiple sites in Downtown Cairo.

One of the main purposes of D-CAF is the revival and reclamation of Downtown Cairo as a vibrant cultural centre, capitalising on its unique architectural and social heritage. D-CAF also seeks to expose a wider section of Cairo’s population to the diversity of contemporary arts production and Downtown’s eclectic working population facilitates this desire. The festival also benefits from the fact that many of Cairo’s major independent cultural institutions are based in Downtown, and thus the festival builds on the existing cultural communities that these institutions have been creating over the last decade.

One of the key aims of the D-CAF project is to engage the general public in contemporary art and the urban landscape.

A glass object photographed as a way of collecting the world around it (2013)Photographic Print. 40 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel.
Mystery (2011), narrative text written by the artist on vintage paper torn from pulp novellas. 13 pages 11×16 cm each. Courtesy of the artist.

The selections of works by Hassan Khan in his exhibition at Kodak Passageway span Khan’s diverse artistic practice.

Text based works (some presented here in Arabic for the first time) charged with myth, dreams, calculation and chance are juxtaposed with enigmatic yet storied sculptural forms. Popular shaabi musical compositions are broken down, analyzed, and re-synthesized in automated improvisations, playing on strains of the archival, and the collective conscious. Portraiture makes an about face, reframing notions of identity, performance, and power.

The exhibition is sited in what had been unutilized storefronts alongside the Kodak passageway in Downtown Cairo, designed and curated by CLUSTER to present a procession of exhibition spaces, interjecting the artist’s ouevre amidst the public and pedestrian activities of the arcade.

Kodak Passageway, Cairo
March 30 – April 26 2014

Exhibition and parallel events of Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival Cairo

The Knot (2012), Glass Sculpture on Stainless Steel base. Photo by Anders Sune Berg. Courstesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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