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Indepth Arts News:

"Robba Veccia: Lara Baladi AND Arcyis: Huda Lutfi"
2006-02-13 until 2006-03-08
Townhouse Gallery / Factory Space
Cairo, , EG Egypt

Following the great success of the Townhouse's January exhibition KAIROTIC, the gallery will be featuring an unequivocal show with Egyptian Artists Huda Lutfi and Lara Baladi as they return after 2 years of prominent international exhibitions. Both artists exhibited together for the first time in Townhouse in 1999 and this is the first time their shows coincide ever since. The exhibitions run from February 13 to March 8, 2006.

For her upcoming exhibition, entitled Robba Veccia, Baladi has constructed a “life-sized” kaleidoscope in the Townhouse’s Factory space. A triangular tunnel of mirrors creates a series of reflections that produces the illusion of an arabesque-like circular space surrounding the visitor. A moving projection of photographs at the far end of the tunnel is multiplied by its reflection on the mirrors to produce an intricate pattern of color and image evolving fluidly in an infinite series of variations. The visitor moves through the tunnel, approaching what appears to be a moving wheel of color that grows in intensity, until they finally exit the tunnel at the other end. Seen from the outside, the triangular tunnel of mirrors reflects strands of light from above, suggesting a jewel-like object of human-proportions.

Baladi often works with photography, video and installation. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and has appeared in numerous shows in Japan, New York, Mali, Egypt and Lebanon. The artist’s work belongs to a number of international contemporary art collections, including the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris, France and most recently, the Pori Art Museum, Finland. Her recent T-shirt collection, Baladi Collection made at Home in Egypt was launched at Espace SD, Beirut, Lebanon and the Townhouse Gallery of contemporary art, Cairo, 2005.

Huda Lutfi’s exhibition ‘ArÇyis evokes traditions connected to the production, symbolics and uses of dolls in Egypt. A series of sculptures, paintings, prints and installation pieces draw on doll-forms specific to various areas within Egypt and related historical and cultural moments. The artist uses “the doll” in its many manifestations and related meanings as a point of departure for creating a visual language that refers to evolving modes of production in relation to authorship in culture and the role of women as cultural producers, cultural symbols and artists. The artist worked with women in Cairo and Fayoum to create a number of the sewing-based pieces. She understands her work as drawing on vernacular forms to multiply the possibilities for creating contemporary art.

Lutfi lives and works in Cairo where she teaches Muslim-Arab history at the American University in Cairo and works as an artist. Her work often reflects her interest in historical text and iconography from Pharoahonic, Coptic, Arab, Mediterranean, Indian and African cultures. She has held several solo and group exhibitions in Egypt, France and Greece.

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