In conjunction with the exhibition “Museum as Hub: An accord is first and foremost only a proposition,” Wael Shawky presents a screening and discussion of his “Telematch” series (2007–09). As a study in translation, the project references a German telecast game show of the same name that became popular in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. Each episode brought together two villages, dressed them in costume, and set them into competitions against one another. Shawky’s series expands upon this tension between power and play. In Telematch Sadat (2007), the artist worked with children to enact the events surrounding the 1981 assassination of Egypt’s late president Anwar El Sadat.
Wael Shawky received his BFA at the University of Alexandria, and an MFA at the University of Pennsylvania. He has presented solo exhibitions at Gallery Sfeir-Semler, Beirut; Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; and Ludwigsburg Kunstverein, Ludwigsburg, among others. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions at Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal; Arko Museum, Seoul; Queens Museum of Art, New York; 7th SITE Santa Fe Biennial; Carré d’Art—Musée d'Art Contemporain, Nimes; Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland; October Art Salon, Belgrade; the 2nd Riwaq Biennale, Palestine; the 2nd Moscow Biennale; the 9th International Istanbul Biennial; Focus Istanbul; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Platform Garanti, Istanbul; Museo di arte contemporanea, Rome; and the 50th Venice Biennale. He is the recipient of the Grand Prizes of the 6th International Cairo Biennale and the 25th Alexandria Biennale; the International Commissioning Grant, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York; and the International Award of The Islamic World Arts Initiative, Arts International, New York. He is the founding director of MASS Alexandria, an independent art education space for young artists.