William Wells, Director of the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, moderates a conversation with Susan Hefuna, Ayman Ramadan, and Tarek Zaki, three of the artists included in the Museum as Hub project “Antikhana.” The exhibition title refers to the downtown Cairo neighborhood of the Townhouse Gallery—the district’s traditional name is Antikhana —where a symbiotic coexistence between artists, writers, intellectuals, and conservative male workers from the “lanes,” or the streets, have informed the artists’ own practices. Ayman Ramadan began to produce his work after participating in workshops and building relationships with visiting and resident artists at the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Cairo, where he had been employed since 2000. Informed by his immediate surroundings, Ramadan’s work spans an extraordinary breadth of media and influences, from Minimalist sculpture to photography, video, and performance, often involving residents of downtown Cairo. In 2001, he had his first solo exhibition at the Townhouse Gallery. In the last six years, he has had five solo exhibitions at the Townhouse Gallery and has exhibited his work in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Ramadan’s video work Iftar was screened at the Tate Modern in London, and his installation Baladi Bus was part of a group exhibition at Kunstmuseum, Bonn.
Tarek Zaki (b. 1975, Riyadh) is an Egyptian visual artist born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who lives and works in Cairo. He graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from Helwan University, Cairo, in 1998. Zaki has exhibited at Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland; the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo; De Appel, Amsterdam; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut; and the Roemer-und Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim.