Documentation and Animation: The Art in Between

Wael Shawky won the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award in 2011, which included a solo exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, presented in the frame of the upcoming Berlin Art Week.

For this special event the artist created a new video installation, Al Araba Al Madfuna, a reenactment of a story that happened ten years ago. A shaman, claiming to have the wisdom of all the archeological and pharaonic treasures, misled the people by promising to cure all illnesses. The  film roles are played by children but with the voices of adults, which offers a humorous interpretation of reality. 

Entering the next space, on the 2nd floor, we are invited to sit in a cozy cinema to watch the second chapter of a planned trilogy about the Crusades. Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo shows main episodes that occurred between the First and the Second Crusade (1099-1146), reenacting them all with puppets. The actors (marionettes!) are weird creatures, a mixture of human beings and animals designed and produced in ceramic specifically for the film. These “puppet stars” are displayed on the third floor like hollywood royalty at the Oscars.

In the last historic video installation, the artist takes the concept of a television show broadcast in the 1960’s and 70’s, transferring it in a new context to symbolize the ever-transitional situation of Bedouin peoples. In “Telematch Shelter” he clashes cultures in an all-involving surrounding. 

Why go to the cinema to watch another blockbuster movie? This exhibition exceeds it with it’s content, but through an enjoyable and a-typical form.

  • KW Contemporary Wael Shawky. Al Araba Al Madfuna August 26th-October 21st 2012 

 Article written by Andrea Ongaro