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OTHERWISE AGAZE, duo-exhibition, ARD art institution, Cairo, 2023

Back.Drop, two fine art prints of digital generated images on photographic paper, framed, each 80 x 60 cm, 2023

Photos: Ahmed Kamel

Otherwise agaze was a cooperation project of Ahmed Kamel and Gabriela Kobus in 2022/2023.

The particularities of "World Exhibitions" and their relation to Cairo in 19th-century colonial Europe has been the conceptual starting point for the cooperation. During the first discursive process stage, the artists decided to develop their artistic contributions in a common authorship.


Path.Way, milled metal plates, 5 pieces, each 80 x 60 cm, 2023

"World Exhibitions" were fashionable in 19th-century colonial Europe and were increasingly focused on offering their visitors the experience of the "Orient". The "Orient" theme was very popular, with a particular focus on the city of Cairo.

At the "World Exhibitions" in Paris in 1889, Cairo was recreated as a backdrop, featuring people and animals imported from Egypt. In addition, Frenchmen in disguise were staged as oriental protagonists.


Over.Look, two wooden boxes, with mounted photography, each 10x18x23 cm, 2023

For visitors from the Middle East, the mechanisms of representation and the "European effort to stage things for viewing" caused alienation and irritation. One Egyptian author described this obsession as "Intizam El-Manzar", the "organizing of the gaze"*. Descriptions of journeys to Europe and the confrontation with the intense curiosity of Europeans were a frequent theme in publications that appeared in Cairo at the end of the 19th century.

* "Intizam El-Manzar" ist beschreiben in Mubarak, 1882, S817, nach Mitchell, Timothy, Die Welt als Ausstellung, in: Conrad/Randeria (Hg.): Jenseits des Eurozentrismus (Ffm 2002).


The ambition to represent "modern European life" found its expression in the "World Exhibitions". In modern architecture made of iron and glass, the latest technical achievements were presented on a large scale. In contrast, a show of the rest of the world was staged.


Land.Scape, wood, ceramic, 30 x 46 x 3.5 cm, 2023


Over.Take, velour fabric, metal, 290 x 140 cm, Sound, 2023

Out.Sort, sandstone, 80 x 46 cm, sound-loop, 2023
A sentence is spoken in six languages by different people: British, French, Spanish, Italian, German - languages of colonial rulers - and Arabic.

"One thinks one is free from it, but it is not the case."

Far.Piece, showcases, glass, wood, dust, each 24 x 24 x 26 cm, 2023


Sky.Out, 2-part installation,

Carpet fragment, object frame, wood, 40 x 40 cm, 2023

Wall painting, stramin (carpet basis), 230 cm x 150 cm,

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