Guideposts, 2016

2 site-specific sculptural installations.
Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE, 2016.

In this project (based on an older installation I did in 2013 under the title of the Official Institution), I keep investigating what I call the ‘institutional aesthetic’ in Egypt. For me, this aesthetic is characterized by forms of decay, visual randomness and an attention to functionality that disregards the connection between subject and the expanded significance of its visual representation. This is apparent in different government buildings in Cairo, where visual clutter passes as pragmatism. It is also apparent everywhere, from crudely rendered street signs to public art projects commissioned by the state and political propaganda poster design.

Since 2013, I have been investigating what that ‘aesthetic’ represents, and I have been collecting and documenting its manifestations. Could it be a reflection of deeper socio-political issues? Is there significance that goes beyond the institutions or places that have been photographed? Moreover, are there effects on social interaction?