Facebook promo image for the event, March 18, 2018 – Facebook/NVICairo.
CAIRO – 9 April 2018: Artist, writer and film-maker Kaya Behkalam is hosting an exhibition of three of his works that explore the nature of archiving, titled "Is the Archive a Thing of the Past?" at NIVC-Cairo on April 11, 2018.
In the introduction to the exhibit, Behkalam questions a statement made by the "10 Theses on the Archive" on pad.ma, which states that archives should be felt by historians rather than just merely interpreted. Behkalam examines what this shifting from rational interpretation to emotionally feeling implicates, forcing us to rethink everything that we know about the concept and nature of archiving.
Behkalam lives and works in Berlin and Cairo. After obtaining his MFA in media art and a BA in visual communications from the University of Arts Berlin, Behkalam then went on to become a PHD candidate in Artistic Research from the Bauhaus University Weimar in Germany. From 2012 until 2015, he's also worked as an assistant professor of Time-based Media at Cairo's AUC University, and as the director for the Sharjah Art Gallery at AUC. For his work, Behkalam has been recognized with various awards such as the Dialogue Award of the European Media Art Festival in 2012.
"Is the Archive a Thing of the Past?" is based on Behkalam's long-term research that explores alternative archival practices, which he calls "Archaeology of the Present". His focus in one of his projects (Temporary Museum: Tehran-Berlin-1979-2009) is creating something of a temporary museum that documents the migratory movements between Tehran and Berlin, while another explores the lingering ghosts of cruelties like fascism, exile and colonialism haunting separate archives in Berlin and Cairo (The Sleep of Reason, 2011).
Lastly, there is his more recent multimedia project titled “The Augmented Archive”, which is an application available for iPhone and Android devices which transforms the city of Cairo into an archive topographically arranged around the events of the January 25 revolution.