The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Arts & Culture

CIC: New Director, New Space, New Projects

CIC: New Director, New Space, New Projects
    written by
    Aleksandra Sekinger

    Since its inception in 2004, the Contemporary Image
    Collective (CIC) has established itself as one of the major players in Cairo’s independent contemporary
    art scene. However, since the departure of long-time dynamic duo director Edit
    Molnar and curator Aleya Hamza in spring 2009, it seems that CIC has fallen off the
    radar. All of that is about to change. There’s an exciting current happening at
    CIC that’s sure to grab the attention of artists and art appreciators city-wide.
    With a shiny new venue, an experienced new artistic director and exciting
    projects underway, CIC is about to generate a whole lot of buzz.

    New Director: Armed with a background in fine arts and curatorial
    practices, Mia Jankowicz is injecting unprecedented energy and enthusiasm into
    the collective’s projects as CIC’s new artistic director. A graduate of
    Goldsmiths University of London, where she received her MA in Visual Cultures, Jankowicz
    spent much of the last five years as the Residencies Curator of Gasworks, a contemporary independent art
    space in London.

    Jankowicz felt an instant attraction to our mad but
    endearing Capital when she first came to Egypt for a pilot curatorial
    workshop at Townhouse
    Gallery of Contemporary Art
    in 2007. Now, she’s back and ready to start
    some ambitious initiatives. Judging by what she has accomplished in the few first
    months of her position, Jankowicz is steering CIC in an entirely new and
    invigorating direction.

    New Space: CIC has officially left its old villa in Mounira and
    relocated to a Downtown space,
    not far off from Talaat Harb
    Square. The new CIC space is an entire floor of an
    old, colonial apartment building. With high ceilings, original floors and
    beautiful framing, the new space is charming Downtown architecture at its best.

    One of the many exciting features of the new space is
    the division of administrative and exhibit spaces. Upon exiting the elevator,
    the space to the right is the production space, which consists of staff
    offices, the library, the darkroom, the lecture hall and an artist studio. The
    space to the left is the exhibit space, which consists of a railroad-style
    apartment of five continuous rooms that hold endless possibilities for
    interesting displays of images and video.

    New Projects: CIC’s new space will be holding its first exhibit on
    June 24, 2010. Indian photographer Anup Mathew Thomas will be presenting two
    bodies of work, Light Life and View from Conolly’s Plot, which are being shown for the first
    time in the Middle East. His works are
    seemingly disconnected photographs from places and cities that are displayed
    with a tantalisingly small bit of text to stir the audience’s curiosity of the

    In July 2010, CIC will initiate an Open Content/ Open
    Source Reading Group. Driven by a curiosity for the concept of creative commons,
    the Reading Group will address a critical issue of the contemporary art world:
    in a contemporary world involving a great deal of creative exchange and
    distribution, why do we think of an artwork as a single object owned, created
    and to be profited from? Exploring issues such as media piracy, collaborative
    art production, multiple authorship and artist copyright versus ‘copyleft’, the
    Reading Group promises to be a dynamic discussion for interested parties. The
    group will tentatively meet once every two weeks from July to September 2010.

    In late September 2010, CIC will hold an intensive
    ten-day photojournalism workshop covering the Egyptian parliamentary elections.
    The workshop will be called ‘CIC Alternative News Agency’ and will involve
    knowledge-sharing between artists, photojournalists and citizen journalists. The
    collaboration of these three professions aims at exploring photojournalism
    opportunities in Cairo
    by infusing them with contemporary visual art and activism.

    Stay plugged in to Cairo 360 for CIC updates, events and