Defining Egypt: Artist Sherin Guirguis
For LA-based artist Sherin Guirguis, Mashrabiyas could be used almost as metaphors between private and public identities.
“It’s always about the private ideas that are nurtured in [these] spaces that then explode onto the street and change paradigms”.
For her installation Qasr El-Shoaq, a three-dimensional pair of immense tear shaped Bedouin earrings, “it was important that they reference the mashrabiya in an interesting way with the wooden screens and architecture.”
“I also wanted them to be kinetics because it was about agency and shifting power status”, she recalls.
The sculpture formed part of a body of work recently shown at the Third Line gallery in Dubai. Passages/Toroq sought to explore Egypt’s past through art and by referencing politics and literature in the wake of the Arab springs.
In this seven minute podcast she spoke to me on the interplay between the recent Arab springs uprising and Egypt’s political past.
“We [had] the occupy movement here in LA and in New York and I loved looking back at the feminist movement in Egypt and seeing correlations between things that seemed so disparate but they’re actually very connected [as] it was about the power of the individual.”