Safar Khan Gallery: ‘Momentum’
- 6 Brazil Street
- Mon - Sat, 10 am - 2 pm & 5 - 9 pm
The Egyptian revolution has been an inexhaustible source
of inspiration for artists this year. Young Egyptian artist Marwa Adel is a
photographer and installation artist whose work is on display at Safar Khan Gallery.
‘Momentum’ consists of a little over 15
pieces all taken during the revolution back in January and February. Adel
usually works with pictures and texts combined to accentuate and confirm the
visual message. This time however she let the pictures speak for themselves.
All the pictures have been digitally edited to give them a more dark and
sinister appearance. Most of her pictures are from the first days of the
revolution when tensions were high. In a lot of the works you can see fire and
some people walking around it. Though the fire source is not visible it could
be assumed it were police cars that are burning in the background.
focus on the crowds who were present in the square. The pictures are literally
packed with people, and give a vivid sense of the amount people that occupied the
square. Adel hasn’t focus on individuals or on expressions, though. Instead,
she has only captured the crowds or the burning objects. The best part of the
exhibition is a picture where you can see a figure walking in front of a blaze.
The contrast between the dark silhouette and the bright flames in the
background gives an interesting perspective to the picture.
By making all the pictures darker than they probably
initially were to the eye, the overall exhibition is a bit downcast. Some
pieces are actually so dark you can’t really see what is going on in the
picture. It is obvious there are people
walking around but they sometimes seem nothing more than dark black sticks. Whereas
other artists focused on the hope, Adel has focused on the chaos and
destruction. Of course this was also part of the revolution but it would have
been nice to see some more facial expressions or put the focus on individuals
instead of only on the crowds. However, most artists have done that so in this
way Adel has differentiated herself from other work.
After all the exhibitions that have been held with a January
25 theme, some of which were extraordinary, this collection of work doesn’t
show us anything we haven’t seen before. Instead, it casts a dark shadow over
the revolution, which in fairness, might the way some people look back on it