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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Art et Liberté: Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt exhibition

Long Live Degenerate Art: The Financial Times’ Maya Jaggi is taking note of the Art et Liberté exhibitions showcasing Egyptian artists in Spain, Germany, and England. Art et Liberté: Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt is co-curated by Art Reoriented duo: Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. The exhibition “traces Egypt’s Art and Liberty collective of artists, photographers, writers and intellectuals through its short-lived starburst from 1938 to 1948 … this is the first full show of a group whose Egyptian core embraced foreign-born artists at a time when wartime Cairo was a haven from fascism.” The group’s founding manifesto was titled “Long Live Degenerate Art.” Jaggi writes that “surrealism took root in Cairo owing to a fluid network of cosmopolitan Egyptians and sojourners that was enlarged by wartime displacement… Art and Liberty was officially written off as a failed attempt to import an alien style from Paris… Nourished by interviews with surviving relatives, this exemplary show retrieves a dynamic chapter of Surrealism that was, till now, lost even from footnotes.” Pictured above is Samir Rafi’s surrealist response to the Axis bombing of Alexandria.

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