/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
Pack your bags, saddle your horse, grab your lance and hit the road this fall with the Art Gallery of York University as the gallery heads out on a crusade.
The AGYU unveils its new exhibit Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades, tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 11) with a free, public reception from 6 to 9pm. The exhibit continues until Dec. 1.
Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades is the first full-scale exhibition in Canada by Wael Shawky, an Egyptian artist hailing from Alexandria. It is comprised of the first two of a projected series of four films that is collectively titled the Cabaret Crusades. Showing at the AGYU are The Horror Show File (2010) and The Path to Cairo (2012).
Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File, 2010
HD video, color, sound, 31:49 min
Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut / Hamburg
While the Western world knows the Crusades through its own history and lore that has suffused culture, in Wael Shawky: Cabaret Crusades, the story is told from the Arab point of view, which spoke of the Crusades, beginning in 1096 and lasting two centuries, as “the Frankish invasions.” [The series is based on the book The Crusades through Arab Eyes, by Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf, among other sources.]
Not only is the story told in Arabic with English subtitles, it is performed by puppets. One soon realizes that a violent history actually can be told effectively and movingly through puppets and even be given the Hollywood treatment — in high definition video with surround sound.
The Art Gallery of York University is a university-affiliated public non-profit contemporary art gallery supported by York University, The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, and its membership.
The AGYU is located in the Accolade East Building on York’s Keele campus. Gallery hours are: Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm; Wednesday, 10am to 8pm; Sunday, from noon to 5pm; and closed Saturday. The exhibit is curated by AGYU Director Philip Monk.
More about the artist
Wael Shawky, born 1971 in Alexandria, lived in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, until he moved with his family back to Egypt when he was fourteen. He received his BFA from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University in 1994 and his MFA from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in 2001. He is a veteran of many international biennials including most recently Sharjah Biennial 11. Recent exhibitions include Al Araba Al Madfuna at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2012). Upcoming exhibitions include the Serpentine Gallery, London, and MoMA PS1, New York. In 2010, he established MASS Alexandria, an academy for young artists.
Visit the AGYU website for more information on this exhibition and other initiatives underway in the gallery.