They Usually Lie around a Grotto / The Townhouse Gallery Cairo / 2016
Curated by Sara el Adl.
Documentation – or even a contemplative pursuit – is met with a degree of antagonism where public space is almost inaccessible in Cairo. The clamor of the streets is forceful, sites of contestation have become perpetual and monumental, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to be present as a recorder of things. Dunne’s work strikes as a flipside to the idea of the “public;” an involuntary introspectiveness that stemmed, as she once mentioned, out of being more comfortable in the protective solitude of this space – a seemingly secret garden in the heart of a public zoo.
An urge strikes to find any relevance in the stillness of the images to one’s brash surroundings; a contrast that forced a dialogue between the two in a hazy state. Restrictions turn into a maddening force, one that occasionally calls for an introvert: the images suggest a complete disconnect, a sense of meditative disengagement that usually comes with myth. There are hand-painted seeds, ones that are deliberately dressed up for extrication. They now exist in blackness with fur swelling out of their odd textures. And there stands a fabled grotto that’s hidden from the public. The garden from which they come is a static image.
text by Sara El Adl
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