SUSAN HEFUNA IN CAIRO AND LONDON
Sunday 5 December – Sunday 13 February
At the Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, the Serpentine Gallery and the Centre for Possible Studies, London
The Serpentine Gallery in London and Townhouse Gallery present new works by artist Susan Hefuna as part of an ongoing exchange between London and Cairo. Produced as part of the Serpentine Gallery’s Edgware Road Project, Hefuna has created a series of video portraits of the Edgware Road. These works will be screened in the Antikana neighbourhood surrounding Townhouse Gallery in Cairo at the same time as they appear in the Serpentine Gallery Lobby and at the Centre for Possible Studies, home to the Edgware Road Project. Hefuna, whose work frequently moves between worlds, has also created a set of limited edition postcards to be sent between the two cities. The exchange is part of Vice Versa: Exchanges Between London and Cairo, a series of collaborations between the Serpentine Gallery’s Edgware Road Project and partners at Townhouse Gallery.
In Cairo four monitors, each featuring a different location on the Edgware Road are placed in the street outside the Townhouse Gallery. The show marks Hefuna’s return to Cairo, where she shot her videoCairo Crossroads in 2007; an installation that showed 120 unedited minutes of the lane facing the coffee shop seen from a window of the Townhouse Gallery. These new works, collectively titled Edgware Road @ Cairo 2010/1431, were shot from windows in four different apartments in the Edgware Road neighbourhod in London. Together, they confuse the touristic perceptions of the area, frequently referred to as ‘Little Cairo’ or ‘Little Beirut’. Instead, pausing to make in depth visual studies of particular locations such as the Edgware Road tube station, Waitrose, the Lebanese café Al Arez and the Market at Church Street. Together they reveal the Edgware Road neighbourhood as a crossroads of different – even competing – cultures and interests.
In London these four works and works shot in Cairo will be screened on alternate days in the Serpentine Gallery Lobby and at the Centre for Possible Studies.
By installing Edgware Road Cairo 2010/1431 in Cairo’s streets and Cairo Crossroads Video in the Lobby of Serpentine Gallery at the same time, Hefuna raises our awareness of our connectivity to the other side, that is, the side that we can not always see due to cultural distortions. She therefore makes us more conscious of our place, and our vision, forcing the viewer to critique his or her own individual vantage point. EdgwareRoadCairo 2010/1431 runs 5 December 2010 to 12 December 2010 at Townhouse Gallery and at Serpentine Gallery from 5 December, 2010 to 13 January.
Susan Hefuna (1962) explores the determination of identity as positioned between the viewer and the image through photography, video, drawing, sculpture and digital media, referencing her dual Egyptian-German heritage. Hefuna’s work is part of permanent collections worldwide, and has been exhibited as extensively, including in On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century at MoMa, NYC, the Venice Biennale 2009, the 2008 Seville Biennial, the 2007 Sharjah Biennial, 2004-05 “Contrepoint” at the Musée du Louvre, and the Third Line Gallery, Dubai. Her first US solo exhibition was held at the Albion New York in 2008. Hefuna lives and works in Germany and Egypt.