beirut

Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala, Drawing 14, 2015, oil, pencil, and ink on cotton paper, 22 1/2 × 30".

Wael Shawky

Sfeir-Semler Gallery | Beirut

Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala, Drawing 14, 2015, oil, pencil, and ink on cotton paper, 22 1/2 × 30".

One of the most popular and critically acclaimed works in Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann’s 2011 Istanbul Biennial was Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File, 2010, Wael Shawky’s video inspired by Amin Maalouf’s 1983 book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, which tells the story of the Western conquest of the Middle East as represented by Arab sources. The first installment of Shawky’s then-developing Cabaret Crusades trilogy, The Horror Show File covered the period from 1095 (when Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade) to 1099, the year Jerusalem, until then under control of the Fatimid Caliphate, fell to the Christians. Played out by two-hundred-year-old marionettes from Turin’s Lupi collection, the tale opens with a scene in plague-stricken Constantinople in 541; the following scene, set in 1095, marks the beginning of the Byzantine Empire’s decline and the Ottoman conquest

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