030614: Künstlerhaus Wien: Wael Shawky – Al Araba Al Madfuna

Künstlerhaus Wien Wael Shawky – Al Araba Al Madfuna 09.05.2014 – 15.06.2014 Beyond knowledge By Susanne Rohringer The Vienna Festival exhibition is taking new paths, just as the Festival itself, under the new artistic director, Markus Hinterhäuser. In the Festival Centre – the Künstlerhaus – films by the Egyptian Wael Shawky can be seen and in the Karlsplatz Passage, a small solo exhibition by the Malaysian film maker, Tsai Ming-liang. Wael Shawky, born in Alexandria in 1971, studied art history and specialised in photography, film and installations. His works were shown at the documenta 13 and at the Biennale in Istanbul in 2011. In "Al Araba al Madfuna I", an approximately 20-minute video, we see children dressed as adults in traditional Arabian clothes with turbans, sitting in a darkened room. The building is lit by a few torches. In turns, 10-year old boys recount a tale in Arabian. English sub-titles translate the tale which is based on the novel "Dayrout al Sharif" by the Egyptian author, Mohamed Mostagab. The irritating thing about this video is that the texts have been synchronised by men's voices. The tale tells of a pharaonic treasure which the inhabitants of a village would like to find. The observer experiences a distorted account: the children with the affixed beards only perform with immediate gestures and remain awkwardly silent – due to the synchronised interpretation of the men. The actual message of this film remains to be guessed. Formally, an endearingly monumental cinematic picture of an Upper Egyptian community is portrayed in which children are the real protagonists in a rather incomprehensible tale. In these two films, "Al Arab Al Madufuna I und II", Shawky licenses the creation of a consolidated atmosphere of different feelings, interpretations and narrations. In his four-minute loop, "Telematch Shelter" from 2008, Shawky becomes more specific. One sees numerous children going into in a type of Bedouin tent in the desert. Subsequently, several children march out again in a type of easy goosestep march. Colourfully clothed, large and small, they illustrate the nomadic existence. With the aid of the varying marching directions, they explain that the unceasing movement of the element constitutes the life of the nomads. This loop by Shawky has humour and, through its title, reflects the well-loved TV series, "Telematch" shown in the orient in the 70's. An extensive retrospective on the Malaysian stage director, Tsai Ming-Liang, is also shown at the Festival – in his film he illustrates his family's obsession with cinema. Künstlerhaus Wien 1010 Vienna, Karlsplatz 5 Tel: 01 587 96 63 Fax: 01 587 96 36 E-mail: office@k-haus.at http://www.k-haus.at/ Opening hours: daily 10 – 18 hours, Thu 10 - 21 hours

Künstlerhaus Wien xx
1010 Wien, Karlsplatz 5
Tel: 01 587 96 63, Fax: 01 587 96 36
Email: office@k-haus.at
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 10 - 18, do 10 - 21 uhr

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