// Ganzeer // Interview // Talk & Workshop

photo (3)26.3.2014

Photo by Al Riwaq Art Space Team

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a dude, I make art stuff, mostly visual art. It tends to vary from installations, still art, comic books, design, and typography. Depending on the “thing.” For example, in my last exhibition, I made an arcade machine but instead of an actual controls there was a bike pedal on the arcade and in the machine there was a cylinder with photos that told a story. The theme in that was the political situation in Egypt. There was a story that needed to be told and I felt that it should be told in this way. Also, many seem to assume that my work is colorful but I worked with a girl called Dunya Mahir,  who’s an the author, she wanted her story to be told visually. I made the visuals for that, and I made it black and white. So I adapt, depending on the “thing” that needs to be done.

So does it worry you when you don’t focus on a specific field? You do a little bit of everything. 

Yes of course, I worry, that I am not a master in anything I do, but I can’t help it. For example, I love calligraphy but I can’t master it and it bothers me because I get bored of certain fields and I enjoy exploring different mediums. The challenge, and exploration gives me my “kick” and at times.. well, it “kicks” me.

What themes do you pursue?

Well, I like problems. So I tend to identify problems and deal with those in different ways. So the seed of my project would be identifying a problem.

Has Bahrain inspired you?

Absolutely, in multiple ways. Bahrain has a lot. From what I’ve seen, the cultural diversity, and the problems that come with it as well; it could be a double edged sword. I like that there’s more to explore in the historical realm, which was a surprise for me! Last but not least, I enjoyed working with the art space crew, and the other resident artists.

What was the last residency you were on?

The last residency I was on was last summer, in August, for 2 months in Finland. I did a very large wall paste-up that was critical of Nokia.

What are some new works you have lined up?

Well, funny you mention it, I have a project coming up after Bahrain. The project is in Finland along with Amar Abo Bakr, Hany Rashed, and Ahmed Hafnawi, the project is called A Proposal For An Egyptian Revolution Museum. It’ll be quite big with art work telling the story of the revolution so far, but it’ll probably not do it justice and thats why we are calling it a Proposal for an Egyptian Revolution Museum. If you want to have an idea of what it might be like, Kharya, is a small project we did in Egypt which will give you an idea of what the Proposal for an Egyptian Revolution Museum would look like.

What was the worst and best advice you have ever received?

The worst was from an old time Egyptian painter at an exhibition at the Cairo Palace for the Arts, he said, “You are an artists, but your work is great, your work is too clean. Egypt is messy, show it in your work.” The best advice,  is not something that someone said to me but a quote that I read, I cant remember the source, it was by an Arabic philosopher I do remember that, it said something along the lines of; “Glory is in writing what only needs to be written, writing what only needs to be read.” I feel like when I started to think about that when making art, it made a difference in the outcome of my projects.

Join us for another round of talks by our exciting resident artists! This Thursday, from 7-9pm at Al Riwaq.

Ganzeer will kick off the evening with an intro to his highly diverse work in public space, and Nile Sunset Annex / ملحق غروب على النيل, a Cairo-based artist-run organization that produces exhibitions and publications, will give a confessional, image-based talk about its past, present and future with props and music.