Al Araba Al Madfuna II, 2013

Wael Shawky
Al Araba Al Madfuna II, 2013
Black and white video projection with sound
33 minutes
Film still
Co-produced by the Wiener Festwochen and Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation Collection


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.


On Vernaculars: curator Murtaza Vali in Conversation with artist Wael Shawky

Shawky, Wael

In photographs, installations, videos and performances, Wael Shawky mines traditions of entertainment and performance through multilayered historical reconstructions.