Art Talks Gallery introduces El Zaeem Ahmed’s collection “It’s a Circus,” taking a deeper look at the relationship between audiences and the venerated but often marginalized artists. Art Talks Gallery introduces El Zaeem Ahmed’s collection “It’s a Circus,” taking a deeper look at the relationship between audiences and the venerated but often marginalized artists.

Life's a Circus

Wed, Dec. 5, 2018
It’s a Circus” by artist El Zaeem Ahmed (1978) features a series of interlocking acrobat and clown figures, created with volumetric solidity and fluidity, in an attempt to bring to light the “disguised slogans” of the many “clowns” we witness on a daily basis.

Initially fascinated by the clowns’ world of comedy, acting, mystery and vulnerability, Ahmed focuses on the ability of these solitary figures, often marginalized or venerated by conventional society, to manipulate their audience.

In the circus of life, the performers are so fearless and confident, that audiences go from laughing their heads off to holding their breath in fear and suspense within just a matter of moments. And yet, “the circus is a group that symbolizes the psychological, social and cultural changes that affect society in both its local and Arabic dimensions,” states Dr Faten Wehd. Its effect on reality carries many meanings that capture cruelty and tenderness of reality, and more so, its irony.

As we witness the collapse of moral values, the proliferation of clowns across the board becomes flagrant and establishes new social values taking us further away from humanity. Ahmed cements those changes by portraying the ever-changing masks worn by individuals in our society, and offers a rich subject full of dynamism and drama, whose main aspect is constantly changing, just like life.

Through his intense study of human psychology and of light and colors, Ahmed inspires with a beautiful yet haunting mystery that translates into an underlying sense of human fragility. Just like the Alexandrian-born Wanly brothers, famed for their magical depictions of the world of circus and theater scenes during twentieth-century Egypt, Ahmed felt compelled to continue the conversation, choosing to bring the rise of the clown to the fore.

Born in Luxor, El Zaeem Ahmed graduated from the Faculty of Arts at South Valley University in his native city in 2001. His work is part of the collection of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo.
“It’s a Circus” will run until December 8 at Art Talks Gallery in Zamalek. For upcoming exhibitions, visit arttalks.com
 
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