It’s finally here! Several months after artist Francesc Ruiz gave his talk at CIC’s new space, his first exhibition in Cairo has finally opened its doors. Presenting two new works in CIC’s exhibition space and throughout Downtown Cairo’s streets, the exhibition is a sure way to get you inspired by the city.

Ruiz spent April and May 2010 in residency at CIC, where he researched the fascinating history of comic books in Cairo. The use of a comic book as his medium describes the intersection created between the book as a fictional narrative within the social settings and the real urban structures that the narrative refers to. In an intriguing and intellectual way, Ruiz combines the narrative and visual to create a medium by which the comic books’ supposedly lowbrow status and their role in social commentary can be dissected and brought to life.

Through Ruiz’s fascination with the exciting capacity of the comic book, he’s launched an exhibition that’s unlike anything Cairo has seen before, called Paper Trail!. The two new works include The Green Detour and Newsstand.

When Ruiz spoke back in May 2010, he provided a few hints that stirred our imaginations as to what the exhibition would actually entail, and he more than followed through in his execution. Using characters from the comic book Flash with other well-known comic book characters such as Samir and Tin-Tin, Ruiz has created a comic book that takes the viewer on a real-life journey through Downtown Cairo’s alleyways and bustling streets. Along with the characters, you get to experience the book in live form.

Attend the exhibition to pick up the first issue of The Green Detour and from there, the next issue can only be found by following the characters, which will lead you to the next distribution point. There are nine issues in total; so gather a few friends and get started on this comic adventure before it’s too late!

In the CIC space, Ruiz has also recreated an entire Cairo newsstand, which includes replicas of all the publication’s front pages. For Ruiz, city gossip and how we choose to divulge information and stories is an intriguing concept. A newsstand can therefore be viewed as a city’s gaping mouth, an area through which what is considered news, is handed out, digested and spat out once again through a community of people.

The newsstand on exhibition includes stones, meticulously laid on stacks of papers that somehow manage to speak for themselves. At the exhibition; make sure to grab a numbered guide, which provides insight into the meaning of each paper and even the arrangement of the stones.

Paper Trail! will continue until November 20, so now is your chance to experience Ruiz’s work. Don’t miss out on this opportunity and as always; stay tuned to Cairo 360 for the latest exhibitions happening around Cairo.