theatercombinat |29. january - 05. february 2015 thoughts meet space cairo installation & open archive by claudia bosse at hotel viennoise, cairo (eg).

language: english, deutsch

- visitor information
- visitor information (arabic)
- dossier thoughts meet space cairo
- press release
- press release (arabic)

part of the cycle: (katastrophen 11/15) ideal paradise

used material from the collection: some democratic fictions

connected projects:
- thoughts meet space cairo in vienna
- thoughts meet space vienna
- thoughts meet space beirut
- thoughts meet space athens
- thoughts meet space

- thoughts meet space cairo in vienna


thoughts meet space cairo is an installation and a generative spatial laboratory of claudia bosse in collaboration with sound-artist günther auer and is experimenting with different social relations through a diversity of media like images, sounds, objects. it is a combination of alienated objets trouvés, performative assemblage and spatialized associations: different approaches to the present unfolded within space. thoughts meet space is constantly growing along the process, and has been realised in different site-specific versions. so far it has been presented in vienna, beirut and athens.

in cairo, the installation will be accompanied by a 5 day event called reflection zone that functions as a discoursive and performative salon with contributions of artists and theoreticians based in cairo.

thoughts meet space cairo will present a plurality of recorded voices collected since 2011 in different cities of the world with diverse geopolitical standpoints as architectures of (political) thoughts. it will appear as acoustic-visual constellations at hotel viennoise by following the inscription of different materials, acts, objects, projections and narratives, which will resonate with in the historical space in cairo downtown. this temporary archive will create a speaking hotel, in which voices and faces of beirut, athens, tunis, cairo, alexandria, zagreb, brussels, and new york meet and conflict within an installation setting.

thoughts meet space cairo diffuses in numerous spaces, and is filled with perceptions of the present time, narratives about lives, history, transitory situations, crisis and dreams, or projections into the future. in this installation fundamental questions are posed concerning methods and the understanding of art as a practice that accesses, orientates and intervenes with reality.

as a performative and discoursive salon reflection zone activates the installation space with acts, reflections, lectures and performances. all the guest are invited to deal with the frame and the subjects of the installation: the construction of history, the grammar of an archive, recent changes of the urban landscape of and social performance in the city, and the (artistic) methods in the appropriation or re-appropriation of the reality in times of paradigm shifts and transformation. with contributions by doa aly, kaya behkalam, abdallah daif, shady elnoshokaty, ismail fayed, adham hafez, paul geday, ezz darwiesh, huda lutfi and samaher na'ama alkadi.

photo: claudia bosse

installation, interviews, objects: claudia bosse, collaboration, music + media support: günther auer, assistance/coordination: shayma aziz, translation: mohamed abdel salam radwan, technique: marco tölzer, production by theatercombinat. supported by szenenwechsel / robert bosch stiftung and international theatre institute ITI, wien kultur, in cooperation with TransDance14: FOREVER HaRaKa (egypt), advisory board of the project: ahmed al attar / orientproduction, kaya behkalam / AUC, shady elnoshokaty / ascii, ismail fayed and omar nagati / CLUSTER. thanks to austrian cultural forum, CIC and habiba allam

reflection zone with contributions by: doa aly, kaya behkalam, abdallah daif, shady elnoshokaty, ismail fayed, paul geday, adham hafez, ezz darwiesh, huda lutfi, samaher na'ama alkadi and amgad naguib.

interviewees ragheb abushahba, ahmed al attar, khaled ali, samaher alkadi, doa aly, shayma aziz, kaya behkalam, abdalla daif, ezz darwiesh, shady elnoshokaty, ismail fayed, paul geday, amira hanafi, amanda kerdahi, huda lutfi, moataz nasr, sadek neaimi, deborah stokes, william wells, stefan winkler, salam yousry

thank you for your thoughts!

installation views
photos: claudia bosse, click to view photo series

photos of the reflection zone
photos: claudia bosse, click to view photo series

thoughts meet space cairo
29th january - 5th february 2015

opening: 29th january, 7pm
opened daily from 30th january - 5th february, 3pm -7pm

reflection zone in the installation: 1st - 5th february, 7pm
1st february: shady el noshokaty and abdalla daif
2nd february: ezz darwiesh and amgad naguib
3rd february: samaher na'ama alkady and paul geday
4th february: ismail fayed and huda lufti
5th february: doa aly and kaya behkalam

11 mahmoud bassiouny street
cairo, egypt

space provided by: al ismaelia for real estate investment


video full version: günther auer

1st february with shady el noshokaty and abdalla daif in collaboration with khaled ossama kaddal: shady el noshokaty gave a lecture about his new project dealing with the subject of colony. his lecture was followed by the performance of abdalla daif in collaboration with khaled ossama kaddal "super luxe" - a work in progress and an improvisation about personal experiences of the architectural changes in local popular neighbourhoods in alexandria city.2nd february with ezz darwiesh and amgad naguib: the writer and theater artist ezz darwiesh presented and performed his new piece "after 4 years of efforts to change". his guest amgad naguib, the "past-stalker", presented a lecture about collecting, archive, chaos and history, absent bodies, souls and investigations in the past via objects. a fter the dialog between the 2 invitees and the following public discussion adham hafez finished this evening with "this is the end", a performance-lecture which deals with anniversaries of revolutions, wars, and other hard matters. 3rd february with samaher na'ama alkady and paul geday:
in his mixed media installation/performance piece samaher alkady was juxtaposing social perceptions of shame and the female body with violence and the spilling of blood. paul geday gave a lecture focussed on the methods of collecting, archive and stories embedded in documents. 4th february with ismail fayed and huda lufti: this evening's reflection zone was themed "about (model)bodies in (urban)space". the writer and researcher ismail fayed processed a performative intervention in the space about stillness and movement contextualized with the reading of different texts (from björk to mustapha sadiq al-rafaai) while he was becoming a doll-like persona. his presentation was followed by a research presentation and in-view to the art practice of the artist huda lutfi and her view on the urban space via model - bodies behind commercial vitrines. 5th february with doa aly and kaya behkalam: this night's focus was on work presentations: the artist doa aly and kaya behkalam talked about bodies, nations and transgression through their video works: "hysterical choir of the frightened", doa aly 2014 and "fear filled her heart as gazing back she saw", kaya behkalam 2013.

about the participants of the REFLECTION ZONE
doa aly was born in cairo, egypt in 1976.  she attended the faculty of fine arts, helwan university, in cairo and earned her bfa in painting in 2001. her selected group exhibitions include "snap judgements" at the international center of photography, new york city; the 7th dakar biennial in 2006; "the maghreb connection", centre d'art contemporain genève, "in focus" at tate modern, london, "recognize" at the contemporary art forum, london, "port city" at the arnolfini museum, bristol, in 2007; the 3rd guangzhou triennial, the guangdong museum of art, "cairoscape" at the kunstraum kreuzberg/bethanien, berlin, "photocairo4", cairo, in 2008; the 11th istanbul biennial, in 2009; "the future of tradition" at haus der kunst, munich, the 7th busan biennale, in 2010, "meeting points 6" at beirut art center, and argos, brussels, in 2011; "the ungovernables" at the new museum, nyc, new york, 2012, "eva international 2014", limmerick city, ireland, and "dancing light" at the huis marseille museum of photography, in amsterdam. aly's most recent one-person exhibitions were in 2010 at darat al-funun, amman, the townhouse gallery and gypsum gallery in cairo, in 2010 and 2013. kaya behkalam is a visual artist and filmmaker, born in berlin, germany and living in cairo, egypt. he is a phd candidate in visual arts at the bauhaus university weimar, after perceiving his mfa in media art at the university of arts berlin. since 2012 he is an assistant professor of art at the american university in cairo where he is also the director of the sharjah art gallery. he is the co-founder of the artist group reloading images, an initiative that works on collective projects of artistic research. his video-, installation- and text-based works explore the entanglements of historiography, image politics, performativity and perception. among other places his works have been shown at the hkw and martin-gropius-bau berlin, berlinische galerie, queens museum new york, reina sofia museum madrid, azad gallery tehran, kunstverein heidelberg, the 3rd guangzhou triennial, idfa amsterdam and the kurzfilmtage oberhausen. his film "excursions in the dark" has been awarded with the dialogue award 2012 at the european media art festival emaf. abdalla daif is a writer, theatre director and cultural manager based in alexandria. he has been working in theatre since 1997. he was involved in the organisation of the first independent theatre festival in alexandria and has also worked as a researcher at egypt's  national centre for theatre, music and folkore. since 2004, he works as programme manager at  gudran association for art  and development. he works using art as a tool for social transformation, encouraging audiences to discover, imagine and co-create possible new scenarios of social life. abdalla has worked with different local communities and groups in egypt, italy, jordan, france, germany, malta and cyprus. ezz darwiesh has been working in theater since 2001 as writer, director and dramaturge. he presented lots of performances which participated in many international festivals like "thoughts in my mind", "café", "room of mice", "wrinkles", "voice print", "time of shadow". he also worked as a script writer in a few short drama movies and documentaries and started to write poems and novels in the last few years. since the begining of the revolution he is a political activist. shady elnoshokaty is a contemporary egyptian artist. he studied at helwan university – the faculty of art education and graduated in 1994. ever since, he became a teacher of drawing, painting and media arts in the same university and at the visual arts department in the american university in cairo. he received his phd in philosophy of art education and has started his career path through his first project (the bed 1994-1997) which had a big collection of huge paintings that have, clearly, personal and expressive touches. after that, there has been numerous paintings that reflect abstraction using the techniques of the collage and assemblage, called (the body 1997 – 1999) and a number of empirical projects by installations and one of them got to be displayed at venice biennale in 1999. in 2001, he started several projects in video art, and installations in the "school of art institute of chicago". his projects, like "the tree of my grand mother's house", "zahr elbanafseg" and "stammer" have been displayed in the biggest museums and exhibitions halls in the world such as museums of contemporary arts (e.g. new york, stockholm, dusseldorf, mori art museum in tokyo, pompidou center in paris, tate gallery and hayward gallery in london). ismail fayed is a writer and researcher based in cairo. he has been researching and writing on contemporary artistic practices since 2007. his writings have been featured in arteeast, mada masr, ma3azef, amca and other publications. currently, he is part of a team that is working on editing and translating the online encyclopedia of modern arab art published by mathaf: arab museum of modern art. paul geday is a cairo based visual artist, photographer, filmmaker and curator. he has also long worked as a publisher and has created the "cairoscope" and "the egypt almanac". geday curated "studio viennoise" and his films have been shown at the "berlinale". in 2014 he had his last solo show "on the road" and published the book "l'illusion de la mer". recently, "futuropolis iii, back to the origins", the last in a series of exhibitions dedicated to the city was on show at saad zaghloul cultural center, cairo. huda lutfi works like an urban archeologist, constantly digging up found objects and images as loaded fragments of history. she then re-packages them using bricolage and collage as interceptive strategies. recognizable objects, images and icons are re-contextualized and made to tell a different story, playing on collective memory and shared iconography, lutfi blurs cultural timelines and boundaries in her work. multi-layered and playful, lutfi is known to work with a wide range of media, collage, installations, assemblages, and more recently with photomontage and video. trained as a cultural historian and, with her second career as an artist, lutfi emerged as one of egypt's   contemporary image-makers. she received her doctorate in islamic culture and history from mcgill university, montreal, canada (1983), and has been teaching at the american university in cairo. drawing upon the historical, cultural and local experiences and traditions of egyptian society, she began exhibiting her artwork in the mid-1990s. she has exhibited locally and internationally, with acquisitions in paris, london, the hague, virginia, indianapolis, amman, bahrain, dubai and cairo. lutfi currently lives and works in cairo.

about the installation by farida youssef

"in each case the world discovers the spatiality of the space belonging to it"- heidegger, being and time.

with installations, the question of space always surfaces. the artist dialogues with the audience through the space and its organisation. what is different in "thoughts meet space" is the relationship that the audience entertain with the installation. as claudia bosse, the artist, said, it is about transforming the audience into a creator of space and not a consumer of it. how this is achieved is key. "thoughts meet space" is an installation that makes he who enters an active participant, not because he engages in it, but because he creates it. many of the elements and objects placed in the installation are incomplete. it is up to the audience to complete them. his imagination, his thoughts meet the space at hotel viennoise. this encounter of thought and space, because of its peculiar nature, the juxtaposition of the material and the immaterial, render the space ever expansive and ever richer. again, this goes back to the idea of the audience member who is not a consumer, but rather a creator. there is another element of this installation that participates in changing the nature of the audience. the interviews one hears are at times interrupted. a strange sound follows, which the artist assimilated to a time machine. what is interesting is that it creates a rupture, pushing the audience to refocus and concentrate. this concentration is a rupture in time, as if i was being sent back in time to complete the thoughts i had before that sound. thoughts meet space, but are also distanced from time. the rupture of time has a revolutionary character to it, because time is itself a grammar. with this redefinition of space and the rupture of time, the experience of the viewer is enriched. "thoughts meet space" creates situations, which have their space and are locked in their time. these situations are deepened by the diversity of the interviews one hears and reads. each one of them is a situation, placed in a room. the space though is created by one's immersion and concentration in trying to listen closely and read carefully. with this immersion, the viewer enters a world. this immersion, as heidegger would say, allows us to see more closely the spatial nature of the space, the wordiness of the world, the situated nature of situation.

after the use of the american interviews in the installation dominant powers – landscapes of unease (may 2011 in and outside the cartographic institute, vienna), some egyptian interviews became a part of the performance dominant powers. what is to be done then? in vienna and tunis, as well as in zagreb museum of contemporary art accompanied and intermingled with the installation biographical landscapes of new zagreb. this installation explored the concrete urban environment of new zagreb with the help of some residents, their memories and the conditions of their lives. the interviews of the local participants where encountered in the space of the museum with some other produced earlier in egypt. in february 2012 the archive was partially used in the public space installation and performance burning beasts in frankfurt. for this project in the displaced car bodies inside the city centre audio interview material of the archive was implemented together with sounds of music and descriptive reconstruction of media pictures representing failure of political orders. thoughts meet space in may/june 2013 was an installation in 18 different spaces where the interviews were confronted with media scenarios of spelling reality. here, for the first time, the majority of the archive material became part of this artistic operation called “thoughts meet space”, as a virtual space of three-dimensional thought presented in the old customs canteen in vienna accompanied by 2 performances in relation to the installation as a coproduction with tanzquartier vienna. all this material, including the interviews produced in athens is part of the overall project (katastrophen 11/15) ideal paradise. in april 2014 what about catastrophes? premiered in tanzquartier vienna. in september 2014 in dusseldorf was the world premiere of catastrophic paradise in coproduction with FFT dusseldorf in the framework of the series "DECOLONIZE! performative strategies for a (post)colonial age". in this context took place the symposium politics of paradise and catastrophes. thoughts meet space athens in october was a site-specific multimedia installation at Bhive in athens, turning the neoclassical villa into a talking house, speaking with voices of the transnational archive of thoughts. the installation thoughts meet space cairo presented at hotel viennoise the nomadic archive. for the second time interviews had been conducted in cairo after 2011. the installation was accompanied by a 5 day event called reflection zone that functions as a discoursive and performative salon with contributions of artists and theoreticians based in cairo. in april / may 2015, at the donaufestival in krems the performance and installation a first step to IDEAL PARADISE created a workroom about rituals and political thought. this work was the first sketch for the series IDEAL PARADISE that is the final of the overall projectf (katastrophen 11/15) ideal paradise
. in the last production of this series, the last IDEAL PARADISE, parts of the interview collection were confronted as video projections and audio stations with the material of the series IDEAL PARADISE.

chronology of research travels and interviews new york – january/february 2011 / cairo - october 2011 / alexandria - october 2011 / tunis - january 2012 / frankfurt - february 2012 / tel aviv - may 2012 / jerusalem - may 2012 / brussels (matonge) april 2013 / beirut october 2013 / athens october 2014 / cairo january/february 2015

(katastrophen 11/15) ideal paradise is the fourth part of the series of "political hybrids" (performances developed since 2010 in vienna, dusseldorf, new york, tunis and zagreb), which will generate various artistic formats - performances, choreographies and theatre works as well as installations, interventions, lectures, workshops and an academy / conference until the end of 2015. theatrale produktion und rezeption