Public art in the Giza Valley

The Egyptian valley of Giza opened an exhibition of public art Forever Is Now. This is the second edition of this largest show of large-scale sculptures, created especially for this site, and featuring the work of 12 artists from all over the world.

The Forever Is Now exhibition is part of a cultural initiative by Art D’Égypte , which aims to place contemporary art in Cairo’s historic sites. After the Egyptian Museum and the Mohammed Ali Palace, Art D’Égypte founder Nadine Abdel-Ghaffar received ministry approval for an installation in the Giza Valley: “There is a real dialogue between contemporary art and the artifacts of ancient Egypt. The first exhibition attracted 500,000 visitors last year and received the patronage of UNESCO.”

Modern objects are installed in such a way that the pyramids and the Sphinx, which are 4500 years old, turn out to be the background for them. This year’s large-scale sculptures were completed by Pascal Martin Tayou, Jwan Yosef, Teresa Antoine, Ahmed Karali, Zeinab Alhashemi, and Natalie Clarke. Here is the pyramidal photo booth of the artist JR, and a musical instrument made by Saudi artist Mohammed Alfaraj from rusty water pipes and dry leaves.

The curators counted on the contrast between one of the seven wonders of the world and unusual panoramas created by art. The fusion of old and new is not only a visual gimmick: each artist was invited to look at the eternal pyramids through the prism of modernity. The artists raised themes of current realities: environmental crises, the search for belonging, and cultural migration. Alpharaj’s Guardians of the Wind are made from materials collected from the area. So he symbolically brings nature back to earth in the form of a mantra-like instrument that can create music with the wind.

The exhibition was the culmination of Art D’Egypte, which brought more than a hundred works, mostly by Egyptian artists, to Cairo. They are located in various areas, including abandoned storefronts, a historic cinema, a former body shop, and several cultural centers.

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