City Volume Cairo
APRIL 8 - APRIL 19
Margo Veillon Gallery
Tahrir Cultural Center, Cairo
Exhibition Opening: Thursday, April 8, 6pm - 10pm
Gallery hours: 10am-9pm daily
Gallery entrance is free. As per AUC Covid protocols, only 10 visitors will be allowed in the gallery space at any one given time. REGISTRATION is required online at: AUC CONNECT
Saturday, April 10
1pm – 10pm
1pm Budhaditya Chattopadhyay book presentation (Main garden area/ outside)
2pm Benoît Renaudin, Isis Fahmy/ 1 hour (outside)
3pm Budhaditya Chattopadhyay’s writing workshop / 2 hours (Main garden area/ outside)
5pm Benoît Renaudin, Isis Fahmy / 1 hour (outside)
7pm Asma Azouz, Ola Saad / 45 minutes (Main garden area/ outside)
8pm Budhaditya Chattopadhyay / 45 minutes (Main garden area/ outside)
9pm Julie Semoroz, Mena El Shazly / 20 minutes (Main garden area/ outside)
9:30pm Battle Royale (all artists with conceptual manifestation) / 30-45minutes (Main garden area)
NOTE: Mobile Media Lab located in Main Garden
About City Volume Cairo
We are excited to present City Volume Cairo - an exhibition of SOUND ART by artists from four continents.
Translating the foundational ideas and functions of urban sound into art is a process of experiencing the city, listening to the city, and re-mixing the city on conceptual, aesthetic, and philosophical levels. The artists involved with this project all work with sound in conjunction to place, not space. They consider context as key to understanding meaning, and the social, as central to artistic creation. Translating invisible signals that we are constantly bombarded with into experimental sound ; researching a city by wandering and recording its unique tonal timbres ; translating city noise into experimental electronic works; documenting curfew quietude in our current pandemic ; re-imagining city soundscapes with technological innovation ; studying the communication of drivers in Cairo – these are all strategies by our grouping of artists to unpack the layered and dynamic impressions sound provides us with in daily life and, in turn, offer re-mixed alternatives.
As soon as sound is created, it dissipates in space. Just as humans may attempt to confine it within physical, conceptual, and spiritual frameworks, possibly to achieve a form of psychological balance, sound thwarts this convenient containment and bleeds into the realm of memory (only re-introduced through recording and playback technologies). How and why do we organize, remix, and study urban layers of sonic disorder? What new knowledge might be created in doing so? Touted as the second loudest city on the planet, Cairo is filled with noise that has an abundance of political, social, existential, and practical meaning. From the honk of a car, and its lexicon of various meanings, to the calls of vendors announcing their goods with unique timbres, sound plays a powerful role in day-to-day negotiations here. How might artists structure and utilize this cacophony for the purpose of artistic creation while critically examining its original audition and contextual framework? Furthermore, how can sonic events be mapped and echo political, social, and practical meaning - resonating long after a sound has faded into memory? This international grouping of artists working with sound explores everything from the mundane to the sublime, researching acoustemology as foundational to art, design, and technology - prompting audiences to consider aurality as key to the creation of knowledge.
This exhibition project at the Tahrir Cultural Center is the result of a meeting between three artists in Cairo and three institutions from Switzerland and Egypt: Duncan MacDonald (Director of Visual Arts at AUC), Isis Fahmy (Researcher at La Manufacture - Lausanne) and Benoît Renaudin (Researcher at HEAD - Geneva). With sound as a central element in our respective work, we met during a HES-SO Leading House Mena research project initiated in 2019 between the American University of Cairo, La Manufacture, and HEAD-Geneva. Our rich dialogue with students, professors, and artists in Egypt and Switzerland sparked a desire to share our research publicly by imagining an exhibition at the Tahrir Cultural Center (TCC).
We see this interdisciplinary project as an ongoing one that can move from city to city throughout the years to come. It is our intention to turn this project into an annual Sound Art Festival with accompanying talks, events, and performances to advance critical, creative, and academic discussions on sound regionally and globally.
Works and lives in Geneva, Switzerland. Benoît Renaudin is a sound artist, author, musician and scenographer. He is a researcher at the Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design in Geneva.
Sara El Barkouky
Sara Elbarkouky is a young egyptian multidisciplinary artist who creates her visual concepts through sculpture, space, form, architecture and performance. Graduated in Fine Arts from the American University in Cairo, she believes in the power of multimedia and cross-disciplinary art practices and is inspired by architecture as a concept in life, nature and humanity.
Mena El Shazly
Mena El Shazly is a visual artist and researcher born in Cairo. She received her degree in performing and visual arts from the American University in Cairo and the Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut. Mena’s practice is concerned with entropy and sensitive surfaces that carry knowledge and memory. She also has a well-established curatorial practice and has organized several video art events and workshops. She is the current Artistic Director of Cairo Video Festival for video art and experimental film organized by Medrar for Contemporary Art.
Julie Semoroz, born in 1984, lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland. Singer, sound artist and head of artistic projects, Semoroz addresses transformation, metaphysical poetry and the invisible through her productions, and explores ethereal and intimate worlds that are on the brink of falling apart. Her work addresses new technologies and our post-industrial consumerist society. Website: https://juliesemoroz.ch/
Gilles Aubry / Stéphane Montavon
Gilles Aubry is a Swiss sound artist, musician and researcher living in Berlin. His practice is based on a performative approach to field recording, documents and historical sources, often collaboratively. He critically addresses listening, sound practices, music, technology and environmental voices, examining their relations to power structures and ideologies in various contexts. Website: http:///about/
Duncan MacDonald is a Canadian contemporary artist living and working in Cairo, Egypt. He is the Director of Visual Arts at AUC, and is Associate Professor of Practice. Info on his work can be found at: www.duncanmacdonald.ca.
Researcher and stage director from La Manufacture in Lausanne. She founded the [IF] Company in French-speaking Switzerland to develop her own projects where theatre dialogues with interactive design, philosophy, music and dance.
More info : www.isisfahmy.com
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay is a contemporary artist, researcher, writer and theorist. Incorporating diverse media, such as sound and moving image, Chattopadhyay’s work conceptually inquires into the materiality, objecthood, site, and technological mediation of lived experiences, and considers the aspects of subjectivity, contemplation, mindfulness, and transcendence inherent in listening. His artistic practice intends to shift the emphasis from object to situation, and from immersion to discourse in the realm of sound and media art. Website: http://budhaditya.org/about/
Born in 1987, Ola Saad is a visual and sound artist, based in Cairo. She has been working with sound art as part of her artistic practice since 2009. She also works in video art and animation films. Ola has performed in several concerts and festivals in Europe and Egypt. She finds sound to be a very precious material to build structures of hearing, and discovering Hidden power. To hear a samples of her work, please visit: HERE.
Hagar Masoud, (b.1989) in Cairo. Her work explores the human choices, and their design implications, through multidisciplinary art installations and performances. Masoud is passionate about exploring and researching the audio archive of the cities, and observing social, cultural and economic conditions through walking long distances. Walks also allow her to discover the city, record its sound- scape and re-compose a virtual auditory city. The foundation of her early work had begun with sound performances focusing on city walks as basic activity in daily life. Sounds collected from Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt as well as Kassel, Germany were recomposed to create a new virtual audio environment. Hagar Masoud’s practice investigates walking as a significant aspect of art practice and as a specific method of research into perception and experience.The way we move within the world is a combination of our body and our mind. Our actions and our thoughts define the place we are in those sounding us. She believe that there is another language that has not yet been identified in our movements. These two together strike a resonance with our ways of understanding and seeing. Masoud’s installations contain sound, performance, videos and photography.
Thomas Perrodin is Geneva-based graphic artist and illustrator who teaches illustration at the Ecole supérieure de bande-dessinée et d’illustration de Genève (ESBDI). He is actively present in the alternative scene in Geneva, especially in the domain of music. Since 2015, he has been creating posters for Festival Animatou in Switzerland. Website: http://thomasperrodin.blogspot.com/
Multidisciplinary, Sound artist, film music producer, digital art curriculum designer, entrepreneur, instructor and facilitation consultative. Earned master’s degree in Art Education in 2016. Joined sound art workshops since 2005, and started to be sound and music instructor since 2014. Participate in many contemporary art festivals and perform at many live sound concerts
inside and outside Egypt. Was a member of Egyptian female experimental music.
Questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
With support from
MASR Research in Modern and Contemporary Egyptian Art
The American University in Cairo
HES-SO Mena Leading House
HEAD - Geneva
La Manufacture, Haute Ecole des Arts de la Scène, Lausanne
Pro Helveltia Cairo
République et Canton de Genève
Hek- Haus der elektronischen Künste - Basel