History Leads to Twisted Mountains
Curated by: Hana El Beblawy
Exhibition text by: Ahmed Shawky Hassan
English translation: Dina Jereidini
History leads to twisted mountains is the title for Ard’s upcoming inaugural exhibition, showcasing a selection of artworks by artists Ahmed Kamel, Amr Elkafrawy, Huda Lutfi, Marianne Fahmy, Mohamed Abdelkarim and Osama Dawod.
Addressing and utilizing history’s inescapable function as a tool in the production and formation of knowledge, and a means of controlling knowledge itself, this exhibition presents a number of proposed and multi-layered retellings of history. It is through this approach that the artists ask: who possesses the ability to form an image of the past? More precisely, who has the authority to narrativize history as a tool that is called upon to manifest power over the present?
Avoiding a meta-narrative of who is the bona fide author of history, or the trappings of clichéd linear representations summed up in the adage of “once upon a time…,” the exhibited artworks seek instead to somehow dismantle prescribed mechanisms of “owning” the past. Presenting a non-exclusionary understanding of history, the artists envision a view of the present not merely as a transitional moment awaiting things to come, but as a cumulative state of richness in which time may as well come to a halt and freeze.
The exhibition displays installations of various media: videos, objects, textiles, paintings, and photographs, etc.…, altogether representing a smattering, a non-linear narrative that embodies a multitude of intertwined moments and stories. Subsequently, these works seek to access history as a fertile source for the production and reproduction of infinite perceptions of the present and the future.
This visual narrativization offers the possibility of crossing boundaries between dualities such as reality/fiction, formal/informal storytelling, realistic/imagined geographies, while exploring the option of unpacking historical moments in order to delineate and mark alternative stories or geographies.
Ultimately such inquiries culminate in a singular question: how can the artists derive their authorities to reformulate history as they see it?
A talk with some of the artists who exhibited in “History Leads To Twisted Mountains”. Huda Lutfi, Marianne Fahmy and Osama Dawod in conversation with Sama Waly.