The Townhouse Art Gallery has been host to the fifth installment of The Pick, an ongoing series meant as a bi- annual survey of the work of blossoming artists. The Pick 5 is showcasing the works of six young Egyptian artists chosen by the curators Sabaa3aktouber.
The exhibition, which started 8 July, is set to continue until 1 August and entry is free. A walk around the exhibitions with explanation in Arabic provided by the artists themselves will take place tonight at seven pm, with an English tour scheduled 31 July also at seven pm.
According to one of the curators, Ania Szremski, the students were picked from a pool of over twenty artists. “I approached professors at various universities in Cairo, as well as established artists, to refer to me their top students and recent graduates,” Szremski said. “Originally there were no specific themes, but as the artists were selected, they set to work on new projects for the exhibition.”
As a result of this, history and memory became a common theme amongst the artists. While they may share similarities in their themes, their works could not be more different. The artists have chosen a myriad of mediums such as sound, web art, photography and textiles. Each work of art is a personal exploration of the artist’s thoughts and emotions.
One of the artists, Sama Wally, chose to work with the physical space of the gallery itself. “I chose to reconstruct the gallery room itself as my art piece,” she said. “By rearranging the room I could explore the concept of balance versus imbalance in the context of a three dimensional space.” When asked why she chose this project specifically she chuckled and said “it spoke to me.”
The Pick was originally conceived in 2000. The last exhibition, The Pick 4, was held in 2009. Originally, the fifth edition was set to take place in 2011 but was sadly cancelled during the revolution when the mounting tensions made the project unfeasible that year.
Sabaa3aktouber is a collective of writers and artists based in Cairo. They gather once a week to discuss art and record themselves doing so. The recordings are put on the internet for anyone who is interested to see and listen.
This edition of The Pick features the amazing and fresh talents of Sama Waly, Nazly Abaza, Gehad Enwar, Islam Shabana, Ahmed Shawky and Mahmoud Tarek.
The exhibition is on display at the Townhouse art gallery Sunday to Thursday from noon to nine and weekends from six to nine pm.