It’s been a while since I’ve blogged (again), but this time it’s really not my laziness that was the culprit. This year has started off as rocky as the last, with a few heartbreaking events that have succeeded to put a serious dent in everyone’s productivity. It’s saddening not to know what’s happening, if the dead shall be avenged, if justice will be recovered from the dungeon she’s apparently being held captive in, and if things will ever be stable.
On a lighter (much lighter) note, things have been interesting in the Arts. Excellent exhibitions have been inaugurated so far, most of which analyzing, reacting or discussing the revolution. Thankfully, none of them are cliché or pretentious, but rather, truly enlightening examples of how Art mirrors reality. There was Khaled Hafez, Hany Rashed, George Bahgory, The group show Paradox(on), and currently Ahmed Kassim. The work is wonderful, but not at all controversial. There’s nothing that can be considered risqué or offensive. In fact, despite the heated subject matter and depth of emotion employed in its execution, the work is exceptionally mild.
However, there is an interesting fear of the Salafis censoring the Arts. They’ve already started to put dents in productions in the TV industry, and many fear that the visual Arts will soon be attacked in the same manner. The following statement will not go down well, but oh how I wish for the visual Arts that horrible attack. I’d love for an angry, bearded man to bombard a gallery opening and yell at all of us to “stop ruining the minds of the people!”, and then proceed to tear paintings off walls. It would be an awesome sight, not just because a self-righteous person in a Donald Duck hissy fit is hilarious, but because that would finally mean that Art matters to the general public. It would mean that the Arts are becoming a vibrant influence that needs taming. It’s a glorious thought. A feeling of importance that the Arts in Egypt have not felt in decades.
I doubt that would happen anytime soon, however. Some of my thoughts on the matter are published here, but in retrospect, and especially after the aforementioned incident of TV series halt, I’m realizing that I was too optimistic with the censorship and harsh on the artists and galleries. The only way Art will get attention from Salafis or the like is if it has something directly to do with sex (or just a scantily clad woman) or a direct insult to Islam. A large painting of a sprawling nude or an image using an Islamic quote is bound to get attention, simply because they’re ridiculously blatant and need no translation. Anything with a little more thought would be too much trouble to interpret and consequently not worth censorship (oh because who’d get it anyway, you know? Ha.)
It’s sad that this is the case, but honestly, I don’t think the Arts have much to worry about. Yet. Here’s hoping.