are you my angel, we miss you today accompanying us
in the East."
An idea that was brought to life
through my belief that Western influence in our country
has become a reality. In the future, a part of Arab
intelligence will gladly be described as greatly Western.
The choice of the Baroque angel is to give meaning to
figure of a pudgy baby found traditionally in Italian
Renaissance art alongside use of the accordion; used
as a key religious symbol encompassing Islam, Christianity
and Judaism. The Egyptian Baroque Angel takes the role
of a messenger of religious communications, the protector
of the human spirit. It is the intermediary between
the physical and the spiritual.
Whilst the Egyptian Baroque Angel
holds its own unique position, the angel in the East
remains the same as that of the West, a flying cherub
in the sky above us. He is the seeker of all that he
lays eyes upon, whether objects or incidents, good or
evil. He is the spirit, knowledgeable about the earth's
The meaning of the angel remains
with us, in the way we discuss our daily lives in the
form of stories, traditional influences and songs in
all parts of Egypt, re-making the Baroque angel. You
can see an angel flying above us playing the accordion,
another sitting on the ground while holding the same
musical instrument. In both cases we feel his presence,
his thoughts that surround us but always from a distance;
he is not involved in our events and prefers leaving
us to resolve our disagreements by ourselves.
The ideal key to communication
is to first begin by creating a character able to build
barriers as does the Egyptian Baroque angel, which still
perplexes me unlike the Western angel that I know and
admittedly love. Similarly to the new McDonalds slogan,
he is only attracted to incidents that grab his attention
and refuses to communicate with us in a way that is
different from his own method of communication, and
this angel lives amongst us as an Egyptian, reminding
us of his First World, Western, developed and civilized
world roots, all the while with the ability of communication
and introduction of the 'Other'.
What's clear to me today is that
it is possible to find a fusion combining both the traditional
Western and Eastern angels, as the role of the ancient
Western angel -to us at least-only encompasses the introduction
of assistance and keeping watch. This new 'fusion' angel
allows us to be reborn, take the lead and explain what
the West has written about us in the past, rewrite wrongly
recorded history, thus righting wrongs, a cause the
Egyptian Baroque Angel champions.
Has the time come for us to have
a chance to write our events/histories by ourselves,
and correct what we have studied and were brought up
to believe at school and university? Tomorrow, will
the West admit that we are capable of creating a character-the
Egyptian Baroque angel-a fusion that includes both cultures
and beliefs in the language of communication?
The Group of 20 Angels
The flying angel appears to be a passive watcher taking
the role of a viewer to events, the witness of our Arab
society flying past human beings and crossing their
surroundings but without being involved in their conversations.
Will he record the past for reasons we do not yet know,
or is it just his curiosity that drives him? He is the
worldly onlooker, different from traditional behaviors,
who does not allow anything to pass by unnoticed. The
angel flies without us sensing his presence, observing
the privatization of Egypt and viewing our national
flag of the 1960s (picture no.1).
In the streets of Cairo the angel
watches on as vendors sell women's lingerie as if they're
selling meat from a butcher's shop.
He goes out once again to see the Muslims prepare for
pilgrimage to Mecca.
The angel observes the buildings and how the porters
sit at the entrance protecting the residences.
He is a strange angel; he knows everything but chooses
to remain silent and does not interfere to solve many
of our problems. Is it because he wants us to remain
independent, even though he interfered in history that
still affects us until this date? I don't know.
Sale in Egypt, 70 x 90 cm, digital print, 2007.
Tahgien-Hybridité, 70 x 90 cm, digital print, 2007.
El-Sheikh and us, 70 x 90 cm, digital print, 2007.
Groppi, 70 x 90 cm, digital print, 2007.