Following a short introduction to his work, Wael Shawky will join Curator Murtaza Vali in a conversation about the vernacular in his work and, hopefully, other regional delights. This event is held in conjunction with Sharjah Art Foundation's upcoming exhibition: Wael Shawky: Horsemen Adore Perfumes and other stories scheduled to open March 13 at SAF Art Spaces.
Examples of the vernacular abound throughout Wael Shawky’s extensive oeuvre: his use of Arabic, and more recently Urdu; his retelling of local fables and regional histories; his use of popular cultural forms ranging from 200 old marionettes to the 1970s German television program Telematch; and, arguably, even his interest in religion, which Shawky, unlike many of his peers, does not shy away from. This use of the vernacular seems strategic, a leveraging of local specificity against the grand narratives of History and the cosmopolitanism of contemporary art discourse, to create hybrid texts that remain stubbornly rooted yet declaratively polyvalent.
Wael Shawky uses a range of media to explore issues of history, religion, culture and the effects of globalisation on society today.
Accompanying Wael Shawky's exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, this book contains three short stories authored by Mohamed Mustagab and drawings by Shawky.