March 22-April 23, 2015
Opening Reception and Performance: March 22, 6pm


You should just give your past a place and you'll be free. Nothing more to it I guess.
                                                     His Highness’ History, Mohamed Abdelkarim 2014

Ahmed’s Revenge and Other Untold Stories is Mohamed Abdelkarim’s first major solo exhibition, bringing together a wide range of works from 2010 to 2015. It features videos, installations, books, digital images, sculptures, found materials and objects, as well as a newly commissioned performance on the opening night: Ahmed’s Revenge, part of the series Possibilities of Telling a Story, featuring the artist himself along with two actors.

In his works Abdelkarim probes the narrative patterns of myth, history and ideology, by employing a variety of aesthetic forms: from cinematic and documentary strategies to 3d graphics; from oral story telling to religious rhetoric. Personal anecdotes are interwoven with historical events, where real and imagined protagonists – such as Christopher Columbus and Islamic theorist Sayyid Qutb - reincarnate from one story to another, crystallizing collective desires into fictitious personae. What emerges is a speculative historiography that relies as much on conspiracy theories, or cinematic convention, as on fact; where historical truth unfolds as an encounter between an event and its manifold mediation.

Mohamed Abdelkarim (born 1983 in El-Minya, Egypt) lives in Cairo and Sierre, Switzerland. He completed his BA in Art Education in Cairo in 2005 and took part in the Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program 2011. Among other places, his works have been included in PhotoCairo 5, Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo (2012); Cairo-Documenta, Hotel Viennoise, Cairo (2012); Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan (2012); Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece (2011); Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland (2011); and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan.

The performance piece Ahmed's Revenge will feature contributions by Muhammed Hatem, Ahmed Sobhy and Hisham Hamad. Part of AUC_LAB and produced by the Visual Cultures Program of the Arts Department at the American University in Cairo.