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The Egyptian artist Wael Shawky is a storyteller: historiographical and literary sources form the starting point for his concentrated film narratives, in which he interweaves myths, facts, and fiction. The actors, backdrops, and costumes, music, and text each become self-contained narrative voices and through their interplay, fracture ossified views of history. His poetic staging of historical events allows the concealed backgrounds of current thinking and actions to emerge and enables us to think anew about the past and the present.

Wael Shawky (born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1971) is the winner of the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award 2011. For his first, extensive, institutional solo exhibition, he has created a new, large-scale work.

Shawky has had solo exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary (2011) and Cittadellarte—Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (2010). He has participated in the Istanbul Biennial (2011), the Santa Fe Biennial (2008), and the Biennale di Venezia (2003). Until September 16, 2012, his epic marionette-animation film Cabaret Crusades (2010-ongoing) can be seen at this year’s quite impressive dOCUMENTA (13) at the Neue Galerie in Kassel – don’t miss it!

Wael Shawky
El Araba El Madfuna
Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award 2011

Opening: Saturday, August 25, 2012, 5–10 pm
Dates: August 26 – October 21, 2012
KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Auguststrasse 69
10117 Berlin

Wael Shawky ‘Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File’, 2010 video still, courtesy the artist