Basim Magdy: The Stars Were Aligned For a Century of New Beginnings
14 April – 18 June 2017
Free to all
This is the Egyptian artist's first solo exhibition in the UK.
Working in film, photography and paint, Basim Magdy finds inspiration in dreams, scientific theory and failed utopian ambitions. His particular interest is our collective social failure in repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
The Arnolfini's exhibition features two films produced in 2014, The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys and The Dent, that present surreal alternative realities. Combining blurred images and psychedelic colours, they have an otherworldly, dreamlike feel. Magdy was able to create this visual effect by developing the film in household chemicals – a process he calls 'film pickling'.
Also on display is a series of neon works on paper he created using spray paint, collaged elements, gouache, acrylics, and watercolours. Despite their apparent cartoon absurdity, these works foretell a post-apocalyptic vision of the future where machines are dominant over man.
An offsite work, Advice for the Young and the Seekers of Sanity, is being shown at the Big Screen Bristol in Millennium Square. The work is being screened at variable times throughout the day, but can also be viewed at 3pm every weekday during the exhibition period, apart from 22 to 29 May, and 6 to 12 June.