Art for the People

Get the best advice about your holiday in Luxor.

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carrie
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Art for the People

Post by carrie »

A Canadian performance artist is putting on a short show this evening 6pm start in the Art for the People building. From what I could gather she goes inside a glass box which is frosted and emerges fully body painted. They are also having an exhibition of local artists on the roof.
Walk up from Gezira Gardens hotel, away from the Nile then first right as far as you can go about 25 yards then turn left till you are facing the rubbish field right again past Sandouk shop and it's in front of you. Hopefully they will get plenty of support they are very nice people.


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Re: Art for the People

Post by Hafiz »

Interesting.

Sounds adventurous and therefore probably not Ministry - is this so?

Is it connected with the very interesting Luxor based Fine Arts section of the University? As far as I can work out the teachers are very talented which is not a frequent thing to say.

I hope they do really well, get lots of morale boosting feedback - and make some money.

There is a yearly Luxor based Ministry Fine Arts festival (its not called a festival and has a pretentious alternative name) that has attracted my claws for a while. Its lots of bureaucrats, public figures, people in nice suits and gowns, a Minister and 5 star hotels. They claim to bring international artists to Luxor to paint it. As far as I can work out it achieves little (possibly nothing) but costs a lot. Will research it and post in a few weeks when I'm in a bad mood.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Yildez »

Hafiz, I was staying at the Winter Palace 3 years ago, when this took place in their gardens. The exhibition was on the terrace at the front of the hotel, and I found really interesting. I think Carrie was with me, and they were in the middle of setting up the displays as we walked round.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by carrie »

Yes it was Yildez and the exhibits were great. The exhibition on the west bank shows work by teachers from the Fine Arts college and that of graduate students.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by A-Four »

Hafiz wrote: As far as I can work out it achieves little (possibly nothing) but costs a lot. Will research it and post in a few weeks when I'm in a bad mood.
Talking of things that cost a lot and achieved little or nothing,.....that Luxor Rowing Club along the Corneische, down from the old Nova Hotel, just wondering what is your take on that old exercise, some 10 years old now, I understand big money is still being pumped into this 'venture' even now.

I would comment further but, unlike your good self, I do wish to return there soon for a long holiday in the near future. From reading your past written work on this forum it is certainly evident you will not be visiting there over the next hundred years.

There is no relive the info on the Internet, so believe me you will be quite alone with finds with regards any one else on this forum
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Winged Isis »

I don't remember seeing any feedback from you on this.
Carpe diem! :le:
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Re: Art for the People

Post by carrie »

Hafiz you say it costs a lot and achieves nothing. What do you think it should achieve? Sometimes achievements can't be measured in monetary terms. I remember years ago passing the college and noting how the girls from the college were dressed, they way the conducted themselves. They were very respectable but you could always tell them from the girls from Luxor. Well educated and bright young things on the whole, if it gives just a few girls from Luxor the encouragement to go out and follow their example then that could be worth more in the long run than an immediate financial gain.
A friend remarked that a lot of the girls didn't wear the scarf even though they were Muslim and that they were teaching the local girls bad ways. This coming from an Egyptian man who had lived in Europe for about 15 years. A wake up call to the Luxorian men, women can be talented and follow their dream.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Dusak »

And she emerges fully body painted. To be body painted you need to be naked, so I see a new arrest against the debauchery laws on the horizon. :lol: The rowing club is another Luxor white elephant now, does the odd wedding reception on the upper deck.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by lotusflower »

Dusak wrote:And she emerges fully body painted. To be body painted you need to be naked, so I see a new arrest against the debauchery laws on the horizon. :lol: The rowing club is another Luxor white elephant now, does the odd wedding reception on the upper deck.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by lotusflower »

The Rowing Club upper deck has nice food and coffee ....lovely on a warm evening next to the Nile with the views of the West Bank.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Dusak »

lotusflower wrote:The Rowing Club upper deck has nice food and coffee ....lovely on a warm evening next to the Nile with the views of the West Bank.
Six months ago, or so was told, sixteen locals went down with food poisoning having eaten there.
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Hafiz »

Carrie and Yildiz.

We could be talking about different things. I've yet to check out what I read a few years ago but the one I'm referring to was exclusively/principally overseas artists, quite a few showy parties in formal dress for people who were not artists, not at the Winter Palace but another further north on the Nile, no evidence of contact with local artists or the splendid branch of the university. A minister attended - I think. I think the residency of the overseas artists was quite a few weeks - maybe a month - all payed for by the poor Egyptian taxpayer.

Therefore, as is invariably the case, my view was at that time - what is it doing for the locals. I didn't think much.

I said nothing about the quality of the paintings but my hazy recall is that the few I saw on the internet were very conventional - boring.

Carrie you misread me. I wasn't complaining about the money - rather that it ended up (as I recall it) in the wrong hands in the particular case I was trying to recall. Something that happens often in some places. In the case of current local artists my guess is that there is little public money for them, few if any galleries and local rich people have outdated tastes. (Here I'm going a bit off point). My view expressed in other posts is that up market objects made by locals, including paintings, have few outlets in Luxor but would benefit from the governor/Government funding a special retail outlet with formal links with the more expensive hotels. This will never happen - unless there is an local initiative which will cost a lot and which solves packaging issues for products.

A related matter - the local branch of the university has been a center for public art/paintings on walls - probably in Cairo. One possibly two of the teachers were prominent 2011-12 in political and non-political works. One hopes they weren't imprisoned. I have seen photos of Luxor wall work (possibly on the west bank but I can't be certain) done by one of them. If I get time I will post my collection of their work which I think is exceptional but which may cause them difficulties. Large scale publically funded wall painting (some 60 feet high) has huge community support in Australia and the wall painters from Luxor would greatly benefit from a 12 month scholarship - particularly in training on the community consultation which leads to the design.

The marvelous thing about such paintings is that it takes them out of formal upper class galleries and into everyday life and usually builds strong community ownership of things people would not normally associate with. Images are always ones locals feel a connection with. It democratizes art and the images are there for the community every day and not miles away in an intimidating building you might have to pay to get in.

In the case of the current exhibition I assumed that if it was interesting and imaginative it was probably a local initiative - not a Government managed one.

I'm surprised at responses. My claws are never out against average Egyptians, I strongly support the arts and creativity in my posts and I'm a big supporter of local initiatives. Unfortunately current arrangements provide little for locals, creativity is frowned on and local initiative is hard in a command and control centralized country. Many of my posts are about the big people - always negative - never about the small.

I hope this answers some of your questions whilst I look for old info. It will take a while but I will not forget it.

A-Four - I can't understand your last sentence.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by newcastle »

Hafiz wrote:
A-Four - I can't understand your last sentence.
Join the club.

I did think about asking then thought..... 'do I really care?'
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Re: Art for the People

Post by A-Four »

Hafiz wrote: A-Four - I can't understand your last sentence.
Sorry Hafiz, sometimes I do not get the time to check written work on here before posting.

My question to you is, are you aware of recent developments with regards to the so called Rowing Club in Luxor. I have full knowledge of its history of some ten years now, and I am fully aware that no information ever appears on the Internet, which you have probably noticed the usual suspect on here has failed to find.

I hear there has been recent negotiations, true or not I am unsure,........just wondered if you might have heard something of interest ?
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Re: Art for the People

Post by newcastle »

If you could read so-called Arabic, A-Four, you could follow recent developments on the so-called Rowing Club's so-calledFacebook Page.

That's on the so-called internet ( or so-called wiki as you often quaintly refer to it).

You could so-called Google it (I leave others to explain to you the complexities of that.)

Then you could tell us all about it in so-called English.......although that language also seems to cause you some difficulty :lol:
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Hafiz »

A-Four. No I have no information except the invented 'joke' that rowing in the Nile would be for idiots - idiots who want to get sick with Bilharzia and then allow the disease to progress 8 weeks for treatment with Praziquantel which we hope is available in a non-generic form in Luxor. To continue the 'joke', rowing sculls, pairs, fours and eights are extremely expensive to buy, maintain and transport on huge trailers which is why its a sport for the rich but therefore might attract public funding in Egypt but generally not in the tough-minded, accountable West.

Don't take my joke literally - I realize Egyptians aren't very sporty - at least in terms of actual physical activity.

What I don't understand is that various memoirs/biographies from the late 19th and early 20th century mention long distance, almost Byronic, swimming feats in the Nile at Luxor. These people seem to have gone on to live long lives with no serious sickness. Was there no Bil. in the Nile at that time? By the way Byron would be tossed out of Egypt under current arrangements for debauchery - possibly after arrest and a forcible medical exam.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by newcastle »

- I realize Egyptians aren't very sporty - at least in terms of actual physical activity.
Tell that to the Egyptian squash players - male & female - who have been ruling the world in recent years!

Maybe you don't think football is much of a physical activity? I might agree with you there....but the Egyptians are obsessed with it, playing as well as watching.

Re bilharzia, I imagine the Nile was much safer pre the Aswan Dam. Dams are reckoned to have contributed to the problem by diminishing the migratory prawns that feed on the snails that transmit the parasite at the root of the disease.

Re Byron....yes, he did appear to swing both ways at times but no more than the average Egyptian young man. The current hysteria, fanned by the government, is at odds with long-standing anecdotal evidence of the pre-marital activities of testosterone-fueled young Egyptians deprived of female sexual outlets ;)

They just don't equate it with homosexuality....certainly not in the "out and proud" Western sense.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Dusak »

I watched as they built this so called rowing venue, supposedly to bring back the good old days of rowing to Luxor, local rowers, international club events and what have you were going to be an annual event, or so the banners stated at that time.. Ten years or so ago they were asking around 3,500Le per year membership, each member could bring and sign in one guest per week. Very few, or any takers for that price. Now, as I've already stated it is a venue for celebrations, weddings, engagements ect. Cost for the hire of the full building is 25,000Le, or so I'm told.
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Re: Art for the People

Post by Hafiz »

I said I would get back with details about what I thought, from a distance, as a pretensions waste of the poor Egyptian taxpayers money for the ostensible purpose of 'art'. I also thought that the following showed a slavish approach to foreigners and a shunning of locals - not the first time.

Some years ago the now manager of high culture in Egypt and then Supreme Luxor Governor was sponsoring and funding the public exhibition of the work of Italian (why for hells sake) artists working in Luxor at the Luxor public library. https://luxortimesmagazine.blogspot.com ... w=snapshot. The paintings were as uncharming as they were irrelevant but exemplified the General’s appalling taste.

The Luxor International Painting Symposium doesn’t get much publicity or mention on Luxor4u (if it indeed its still going). It was held every year (?) in December, the last I noticed was in 2016 which was its 7th. In 2016 hardily any of its 23 exhibitors was from Egypt and none from Luxor. One Ali Hassan was from Luxor and teaches there.

Its funded by the Ministry of Culture and the Culture Development fund.

No expense was spared to promote the international artists and their upper class Cairo sophisticate supporters. Here is the catalogue: http://www.luxoratelier.gov.eg/sites/de ... at2016.pdf

The accomodation of the artists seemed paid for by the State.

There is a whole bureaucracy ‘supporting’ the Symposium including a Permanent High Committee of Supreme Artististes and other hangers on. They claim to give workshops to local art students but I could find no evidence of this. If so they keep the time and location pretty quiet. Indeed the location of anything they do seems to be a state secret although they do disclose this: “allocate a group of houses situated in the vicinity of the cemeteries and temples area, previously owned by the people of the village of 'Gorna' (?) who were relocated to a new village, to become the quarters of a multi-purpose International Studio with various objectives.” Its incoherent.

One of the conditions or membership for artists is that their Excellency’s the Supreme Committee of Artistes gets to take 2 of your paintings for their Museum (which museum?) collection, and not pay for it. Sure to mean that worthless artists would want to participate but raises the question of where the is the museum and the 7/8/9 years of ‘donated’ paintings. My estimates are that about 400 paintings must be in the collection – or in private houses. Wonder whether there is a catalogue or inventory or whether they are informally housed by the committee members.

Their bylaws make mention of a “Studio Museum and to be put on display in other locations and establishments.”. Does anyone know of such a museum? In any case they don’t take much notice of their by laws which specify 25 artists per year. In 2016 they had 35 artists. Maybe they cant’t count which gives more reason for worry about whether the 400 are properly accounted for as the property of Egypt.

In 2015 they made a video of themselves which looked very swish with an exhibition in a 19th century building which I can’t locate. Any helpers? Their Excellency’s the Supreme Artistes who appear in the video only embarrass themselves. Interestingly the artists don’t seem to be resident in dusty Gourna but in salubrious surroundings on the Nile with room for a pool and a pony. Any suggestions? Must have been expensive in high season and having exclusive use of the public areas and pool. What happened to the Gourna housing that Samir Farag liberated. Bet you this Symposium dates back to him.

Looks like in 2014 they avoided the authentic smells of Gourna and stayed at the Winter Palace. https://kemeap.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/ ... ng_14.html

Their bylaws talk of 3 or six month residency but even in its first year it was only one month https://cornerstone.ac.za/art-auction/ and nowadays its just 2 weeks.

Looks, sounds and reads like another rort with confused bureaucrats feathering their nests with little benefit to Egypt, let alone Luxor or to local artists and lots of taxpayers money.

The Egyptian media hardly mention it and the intrepid Akshar hasn’t mentioned it for 5 years. That’s a low but safe profile. What the lesbian test are I'm not sure - you will need to ask the Luxor police.

Why they need state sponsorship is anyone’s guess. Many hold senior academic postings and multiple international exhibitions, one was born in 1948 so why does he/she need promotion?. Its objectives are incoherent. An Australian artist who participated a few years ago seems to have had an inglorious career in Australia to date and exhibits at underwhelming (to put it mildly) galleries. I assume the rest are in a similar class.

If they do hold it still mandatory and forcible rectal examinations should be mandatory. Possibly every day to be on the safe side.

As is often the case: unclear objectives, appalling management, scant regard for locals, the politically/socially powerful and boorish are center stage, no community engagement/involvement/ 'things' go missing (really!), vulgar taste and lots of wasted money for very little effect/outcome. It was always thus. Its almost like something in the Russian provinces in 1914.
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