Interview Sherin Guirguis

Sherin-Guirguis_Untitled-Bab-Huda_2013_940-1020x680Egyptian born, US-raised artist Sherin Guirguis’ geometrically patterned paintings and sculptures reflect the Mashrabiya. Mashrabiya’s are usually found within doorways and windows featuring finely carved lattice that provide privacy for the individuals inside but also lets cool air in from the outside.

For LA-based artist Guirguis they can be used almost as metaphors for private and public identities as “it’s always about the private ideas that are nurtured in [these] spaces that then explode onto the street and change paradigms”.

“There’s a lot of political shifting right now globally,” explains Guiguis. “I find it really interesting and important to go back historically and look at those same moments in history all over the world and how people were resolving and dealing with them.”

For her recent installation Qasr El-Shoaq, a three-dimensional pair of immense tear shaped Bedouin earrings, “it was important that they reference the mashrabiya in an interesting way with the wooden screens and architecture.”

“I also wanted them to be kinetics because it was about agency and shifting power status”, she recalls.

The sculpture formed part of a body of work recently shown at the Third Line gallery in Dubai. Passages/Toroq sought to explore Egypt’s past through politics and literature in the wake of the Arab springs.
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