cairo

“A Fantasy for Allan Kaprow”

Contemporary Image Collective

The Contemporary Image Collective is located on the upper floor of a dilapidated villa that dates back to the 1920s. To get there, one climbs an elegant old staircase illuminated by a skylight and smoky glass windows. During the exhibition “A Fantasy for Allan Kaprow,” curated by Mai Abu ElDahab and Philippe Pirotte, the light in the stairwell was refracted by a metallic blue sculpture hanging pendulously from the ceiling. The shape of the sculpture, Homage to Roudah Island (The Result of One Month Listening to Oum Kalthoum While Building an Unfoldable Portable Nilometer) (all works 2009), by Mariana Castillo Deball, approximates both the narrative twists and turns of the classic Oum Kalthoum song “Al-Atlal” (The Ruins) and the architecture of the Nilometer, a structure of stairs and columns devised in Pharaonic times to measure water levels along the Nile and maintain historical records

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