A reading and artists talk by the Edgware Road Project’s artist-in-residence Malak Helmy at The Cockpit theatre
Taking place at the Cockpit Theatre near Church Street, Malak Helmy will read on measuring, duration and calibrating psychological geographies to places, events that fall in and out of significance through her recent work, Music for Drifting, commissioned by the 9th Mercusol Bienal.
In Music for Drifting, Malak Helmy uses the medium of messenger bird to measure the experience of duration in moments of chang¬ing time. Over a few days in August 2013 the artist and the messenger bird travelled be¬tween locations in the (Western) desert and the (Mediterranean) sea to collect rhythms from places that historically held events that changed the experience of time, but which have, as locations, been forgotten and dis¬carded from memory. At the final location, on the morning of August 14, the messenger bird was scheduled to fly from this geography back to the center (Cairo) to a musician’s studio, carrying with it the recordings collected, and a recording of the duration of its own flight. However, political events in Cairo on that morning would change conditions nation wide, halt the possibility of movement, ground the bird and stop the possibility of flight back to the point to which it returns. A distance of what would have normally been a four-hour bird flight becomes one of waiting extending now over 624 hours.
Malak Helmy is an artist whose work explores relationships between constructions of language and constructions of place. Based in Cairo, her artworks explore the line between private and public, science and magic, and metaphor and switches in signification. She co-founded the collective Pericentre Project in October 2008 who initiated the project Kharita which explored relationships between urban development and artistic discourse in the city of Cairo and in 2012 she co-founded the project Emotional Architecture. Helmy received her MFA in Social Practice from the California College of Art in 2010 and her BA from the American University in Cairo.
Her residency is part of an exchange with Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha entitled From Neighbourhood to Neighbourhoods.
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