- Artist Magdi Mostafa
- Title Sound cells: FRIDAYS
- Date 2010
- Medium Washing machines, microphones, mic stands, speakers, mixer and sound system
- Dimensions Variable
Sound cells : FRIDAYS, the second installation in Magdi Mostafa’s '(sound cells)' series, is an abstract evocation of the artist’s Cairo neighbourhood, Ardellawa, as heard on Fridays – a day of prayer, but also a day of household chores and cleaning. In this work, old and handbuilt washing machines of different makes and sizes – all acquired from the artist’s neighbours – are timed to spin at various intervals. Microphones amplify their empty rumblings, which are set against the sounds of a Friday sermon that emanates from an imposing tower of thirty speakers. In the recording, a sheikh describes women as vessels that can be used for procreation, much like the empty vessels spinning in the background – machines that themselves symbolise social and cultural values such as technological progress and domesticity. While capturing the aural character of a particular space, sound cells : FRIDAYS thus also touches on gender roles in a society at the intersection of religious conservatism and globalised modernity.