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Cairo Year One

Nermine Hammam


Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm, FREE

In association with Rose Issa Projects in London, we are delighted to present the first UK solo show by Egyptian artist Nermine Hammam. Hammam lives and works in Cairo. Her works are intricate composites of layered images and symbols, using a distinctive aesthetic that combines digital manipulation and painting. This timely solo exhibition will feature two of her most recent series of work, Upekkha and Unfolding, which look at the recent civil unrest and uprisings in Egypt.

Upekkha features images of individual soldiers from the Egyptian army taken in Tahrir Square, reset against utopian landscapes of luminous blue skies, verdant fields, rolling snow peaked mountains and still bodies of water. The series examines youth in war, masculine frailty, and notions of power. By reclaiming these soldiers as individuals, the artist seeks to reveal the vulnerability of youth parading behind the weaponry and masculinity of the military, questioning the reality of power and its construction.

Unfolding consists of stylized Japanese landscapes, intersected with explicit footage, downloaded from the web, of police brutality in the year following Egypt’s 2011 revolt. In Unfolding the moment of impact becomes hidden behind foliage, or ornamentation and instantaneous gratification is frustrated. Instead the viewer is asked to become active in their viewing, to look closer, and re-examine the surface in front of them to realize the full violence of what is being portrayed. The concept for this series emerged from the artist’s own experience of watching a young protester die in Tahrir Square, whilst less than a kilometer away city life continued undisturbed.

Nermine Hammam was born in Cairo (1967), and obtained her BFA in filmmaking from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts, going on to work with Simon & Goodman and renowned film director Youssef Chahine. Hammam’s work is widely exhibited and has been included in public and private collections around the world.

Exhibition open 20 July- 24 August 2012, Tue-Sat 11-6pm, entrance free

The exhibition catalogue is available HERE.


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