Based on extensive periods of research and inquiry, Wael Shawky’s work tackles notions of national, religious, and artistic identity through film, performance, and storytelling. Whether instructing Bedouin children to act out the construction of an airport runway in the desert or organizing a heavy metal concert in a remote Egyptian village, Shawky frames contemporary culture through the lens of historical tradition and vice versa. Mixing truth and fiction, childlike wonder and spiritual doctrine, Shawky has staged epic recreations of the medieval clashes between Muslims and Christians in his trilogy of puppets and marionettes titled Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show Files (2010), The Path to Cairo (2012), and The Secrets of Karbala (2015), while his three-part film, Al Araba Al Madfuna, uses child actors to recount poetic myths, paying homage—rather than mere lip service—to the important narratives of yesteryear. Shawky was born in 1971 in Alexandria, where he lives and works.
Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum (Denmark, 2018); the Museum of Contemporary Art (Yinchaun, China, 2017); Castello di Rivoli (Turin, Italy, 2016); Fondazione Merz (Turin, 2016); Kunsthaus Bregenz (Austria, 2016); Fondazione Merz (Zurich, Switzerland, 2016); Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (Doha, Qatar, 2015), MoMA PS1 (New York, US, 2015); K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf, Germany, 2014–15); Serpentine Galleries (London, UK, 2013–14); KW Contemporary Art Institute (Berlin, Germany, 2012); Nottingham Contemporary (UK, 2011); the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN, US, 2011); the Delfina Foundation (London, UK, 2011); and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella, Italy, 2010). He has participated in the 14th Istanbul Biennial (Turkey, 2015); the 11th Sharjah Biennial (UAE, 2013); Documenta 13 (Kassel, Germany, 2012); the 9th Gwangju Biennial, (South Korea, 2012); SITE Santa Fe Biennial (NM, US, 2008); the 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005); and the 50th Venice Biennale (Italy, 2003).
Recent awards include the inaugural Mario Merz Prize (2015), the Award for Filmic Oeuvre, created by Louis Vuitton and Kino der Kunst (2013), the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2012), the Schering Foundation Art Award (2011), and the International Commissioning Grant and an award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2005). In 2010, Shawky founded the educational space MASS Alexandria.
His most recent project is La Chanson de Roland/The Song of Roland: The Arabic Version, Festival de Marseilles (France, 2019).
The following conditions of sale describe the relationship between the Institute for Palestine Studies-USA and the buyers, prospective buyers, and bidders for the Keyword: Palestine II Art Exhibition and Auction which will begin on March 2nd, 2020, and end on December 31st, 2020. By using this website to buy, bid, or inquire about any artwork, you agree to be bound by these conditions.
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