June 24, 2007

A pity

Few days ago I went to a concert by a lovely Sudanese "Rasha" at the Amir Taz Palace , it is always a treat to go there either through the citadel or through Sayeda Zeinab to probably the best restored Mamluk house in Cairo.

Having gone the day before to the Citadel , I picked the Sayeda Zeinab path this time around, and while going there I felt a profound loss for this amazing art nouveau architectural gem that consisted of a twin villa and was although derelict still standing a few month ago. I dreamt of schemes involving big companies or banks buying and renovating it for their pretigious head quarters .

Alas it will not Happen. This time when I went through there was only rubble. A few years ago, I had more or less the same feeling when I saw the Matatia bldg brought down.

Just for the record, I really believe that those who can bring down historical artifacts are the same brand as the Talebans whatever their religious tendencies, their political ideologies or their main line of business.

Arriving at Amir Taz palace , i was a bit less square with life. I had gone there a few times, The inauguration exhibition was held a year ago with a retrospective of Adam Henein's works. Again I was in awe by the magnificence of that ancestor of condominii, and descendant of antique villages.

In spite of a few problems with the sound system at least the sound was not as bad as the day before at the Citadel for the Souad Massi concert, who had an enormous attendance, packing the esplanade with an impressively sized audience and where strangely enough the two preparing acts before Souad had a decent sound . As soon as she started singing though, the quality of the sound system kind of collapsed. A pity because all who heard her recordings said she is quite amazing.

As everybody was in a "Festive" (Fete de la Musique) mood, nobody really minded and people did enjoy themselves , the site being as amazing as it is. A few of the people who attended though woke up with a headache the next morning.

June 16, 2007

America, America

is the title of a film that was nominated for the Oscars in 1963 and was directed by Elia Kazan, based on a novel he wrote about his uncle.
But it is also the half sarcastic repressed outcry by the masses of non Americans when they hear stories such as the Oklahoma time capsule. I mean it is quite ironic that the most advanced technologically and the most powerful military "civilizational force" was not capable of beating rust and decay forces for a mere 50 years.
Well after all I might be exaggerating. It is nothing but a publicity stunt gone sour. But somehow it is not important as the last new model sold under the Plymouth marque was the second generation Neon for 2000-2001.

June 5, 2007

Royal Collection

During the first exhibition I did, I used one of the floors to show these coats of arms inspired by the Royal memorabilia that were used to decorate the big ceremonial tents, they used to hang on top of the poles that were holding those tents.

The form of those just inspired me into some personal views of life. So there was the Sumo wrestler that turned upside down transformed into a Pharaoh's head, there was a fish in an aquarium and a badly drawn Marylin with her skirt blown up, a cooking pot, etc...

I wonder what I was trying to do. Because if I was trying to desacralize a symbol, then I was coming far too late, on the other hand if I used the outdated symbol as a symbol then ... it is open to onlookers interpretations.

June 3, 2007

Diamonds are forever

Damien Hirst hits again with more macabre "artworks". He set for 12 millions Sterling pounds of diamonds into a skull and evaluated it at 50 million Sterling Pounds about 500 million Egyptian Pounds. The piece called "For the Love of God" must be quite a sight. Hirst claims that the piece is "uplifting and takes your breath away". It was inspired by a turquoise Aztec skull from the British Museum and Hirst hopes that they both will be shown side by side. Modesty does not seem to be one of his forte.
Charles Dupplin (art expert from specialist insurer Hiscox) saluted "another bold move" by Hirst adding that it is "a spectacular piece and undoubtedly the work with the highest intrinsic value in modern and contemporary art".
Definitely one can not stand in front of "For the Love of God" without dwelling upon World's poverty and hunger. Maybe that is the philosophical point to it.