Friday, March 20, 2009

Modern Egypt: Visions of the material world

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

I was in Aswan just one week late for this last year!

Eleven artists from across the world gathered in Aswan for this year's International Sculpture Symposium, carving their thoughts into blocks of granite, Nevine El-Aref looks on.

"Every block of stone encloses a sculpture, and the task of the sculptor is to reveal it," said the Italian artist and sculptor Michelangelo.

Participants at the 14th Aswan International Sculpture Symposium (AISS), which took place in the southern Egyptian city recently, certainly seem to have been working with Michelangelo's words in mind. Eleven sculptors from six countries including France, Germany, Bulgaria, Korea, Hungary and Egypt, arrived in the city armed with electric saws, drills, files, pins and hammers, in order to contemplate huge granite blocks, as if in search of the statues that according to Michelangelo lie within them. Among their visions for the material were a bedroom, an ancient red fountain, a black solar clock, an image of the sea complete with foam and bubbles, a statue of an ancient Egyptian queen, a huge pile of papers, and a garden of stones.

See the above page for the full story.

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