The Contemporary Image Collective  (CIC) is launching a new initiative titled PhotoCairo: More Out of Curiosity Than Conviction on 14 November. The programme includes a lineup of exhibitions, a symposium, two screening programmes, a mentorship programme and a publication. Like their previous work Hydrarchy, the project is based around an art exhibition which focuses on art’s ability to “discuss and provoke the movement of people.”
The exhibition will feature new and existing works that CIC says “operate through or about paradigm shifts, political or personal offering an argument for art’s ability to move people and trigger responses.” The exhibition will cover locations such as CIC, Townhouse Factory Space and a shop front on Mahmoud Bassiouny Street which all show the works of 15 local and international artists.
The opening weekend will feature a symposium at the Goethe Institute as well as two screening programmes; one of Harun Farocki at Beirut and The Edge of the Image at Townhouse Factory Space and a shop front on Mahmoud Bassiouny Street. Farocki is a German filmmaker best known for experimental documentaries that draw attention with a critical eye to the everyday complexities of life.
Farocki’s films will be screened as part of an ongoing project with a theme of Labour In A Single Shot started by film critic and curator Antje Ehmann, which entails a series of filmmaking workshops in Cairo .
The second programme, The Edge of the Image, features five films that explore the filmmaker and the changes and technological transitions in the history of cinema and its visual language.
CIC says the project explores “paradigm shifts” and how reality is reshaped and splintered into what they call shifts of subjectivity.
“I would hesitate to say it is about something in particular. The idea came from the revolution and the inability to represent this major event or paradigm shift. Yet we could not deny that there is a real connection between those 18 days and the impulse to create art. To represent a paradigm shift, you need to reproduce it to do it justice; you cannot paint a paradigm shift. But in exploring the feeling it provokes in you, and how it moves you, you can transmit its essence. From here is where the idea started but the project explores this idea in a more general sense and the revolution is not a main focus of the works,” said Mia Jankowicz, artistic director of CIC and curator of the project.
With CIC’s commitment to pedagogy through art, it is no surprise that they are featuring a mentoring programme where artist Doa Aly has mentored other artists, through intensive conversations, to create works specifically for PhotoCairo 5. The artists include Sarah Samy, Noura Seif, Mahmoud Tarek, and Sama Waly.
All venues and listings in the programme are free to attend and all works that include text will be bilingual in both Arabic and English.