The re-awakening of Berlin’s art scene after summer break was heralded by the opening of Egyptian artist Wael Shawky’s first extensive solo exhibition El Araba El Madfuna at KW Institute for Contemporary Art. The same artist that we’ve just praised for his work at dOCUMENTA(13) – in case you can’t make it to Kassel anymore, one of the videos presented there is also part of the exhibition.
Installed at KW are three video works, the one in the basement that is pictured above, being created for this exhibition. Furthermore you’ll see an installation of the puppets he used for his tetralogy Cabinet Crusades in a cabinet in the first floor. Wael Shawky’s works are very complex and his videos accordingly long, each taking about an hour to watch. It is very much worth it to take this time, the worlds he creates in his films are as fantastic as they are truthful, uncanny yet appealing. He deals with the historical developments of the Middle East, stories being reenacted by children or puppets, which opens his works to various references, layering connotations and meanings onto each other.
The exhibition is on display at Kunst-Werke Berlin until October 21.
Wael Shawky with his gallerist Andrée Sfeir-Semler and dOCUMENTA(13) curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who also gave the opening speech.