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Nabil Boutros, I wish I was in Egypt

Nabil Boutros, I wish I was in Egypt : Vue de l'exposition. Series Egyptians, 2011. Imprimé sur Rag Photographique 210 g sur carton plume. 24 de 60x50cm   

The exhibition

From July 20 to January 21, 2024, the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, CAAM, presents "I wish I was in Egypt", the first retrospective exhibition in Spain of Egyptian artist Nabil Boutros, organized by curator Katerina Gregos.
The exhibition showcases more than 20 years of work, mainly photographic, and demonstrates the diversity of approaches that Nabil Boutros brings to this medium. The countries of the Middle East, and in particular Egypt, where he was born, are the substratum of his work, whether he is depicting individuals or their physical and cultural environment. It was in the 1990s that he began documenting certain aspects of Egypt and the countries of the Middle East, with the aim of "showing the country differently to Egyptians, but also to people living on the other side of the Mediterranean, with a non-exotic/non-colonial point of view". His work evolved into a more conceptual form of photography, underpinned by a solid sense of observation, developed during the creation of his first series. Boutros' photographs are thematically organized, reinforcing the artist's message through an accumulative effect, offering the viewer a concentrated view of an aspect of reality he wishes to make us aware of. His work poses the question of what it means to be Egyptian, and at the same time questions the gaze of the other, the Westerner, who for centuries, notably through his artists, has developed a vision that is now commonly referred to as Orientalist. This is reflected in the Cairo/Alexandria series (2004), which deals with the invisible aspects of daily life in the two Egyptian cities. Egypt is a Modern Country (2006) is an ironic commentary on development, progress and modernity standardized on the globalized model, with a desire to fit in.
The exhibition also includes more recent works such as Futur Anterieur (2017), a series of photomontages of Egyptian films from the 1960s that reflect this period of optimism and promise, set against the country's hottest current affairs through the choice of moments taken from the film material.

Michaël Pasteger


20/07/2023 - 21/01/2024