Wael Shawky to represent Egypt at the 2024 Venice Biennale

The Alexandrian-born artist Wael Shawky (b. 1971) represents Egypt at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. A natural storyteller, Shawky takes historical and literary references as starting points for his immersive narratives that interweave fable, fact and fiction to tackle common notions of national, religious and artistic identity. Based on extensive periods of research and enquiry, his work across film, performance, painting, drawing and sculpture inverts and reframes contemporary culture through the lens of historical tradition and events.

For the Egyptian Pavilion, Shawky has created 'Drama 1882', a filmed rendition of an original musical play directed, choreographed, and composed by the artist, around Egypt’s nationalist Urabi revolution against imperial influence (1879-82). Shawky recasts the narrative lens on a series of historic events leading up to the year of 1882, turning the Egyptian Pavilion into the center-stage for a timely and critical conversation around the necessity of revisionist histories and the futility of war. The film is accompanied by vitrines, sculpture, paintings, drawings and a mirror relief made in Murano.

April 12, 2024
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