Tom BOGAERT

2013

From : Geneva, Switzerland
To: Cairo, Egypt

Exhibition Sun Ra in Egypt

Visual Arts

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How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

I had meetings with officials from Darb 1718 contemporary art and culture center in Cairo. This resulted in confirmation that Darb1718 will host and co-produce final 'Sun Ra in Egypt' exhibition in March 2014 concurrent with Cairo Jazz Festival. Also had meeting with Townhouse Gallery to discuss continued support and organize performative artist talk at Townhouse on May 21th.

Can you elaborate on the learning and knowledge you have gained and shared throughout this experience?

For me, an autobiographical reading and understanding of this question unavoidable. Before dedicating my life to art, I documented genocide and human rights abuses in Africa, Europe and Asia. I worked as a lawyer for Amnesty International and the UN refugee agency. I do not see my artwork as an extension of my refugee work, although it does directly confront the intersection of human rights, entertainment, propaganda and indeed mobility (and flexibility). I stopped practicing law in 2004 and participated in the Elizabeth Foundation Studio Center in New York City, staging my first solo exhibition in NYC in 2008 with Jack the Pelican Presents. I have since exhibited work in Europe, the Middle East and the US. In January 2010, I moved to Amman, Jordan and began working on ‘Impression, proche orient’ (IPO), an art project referencing issues relevant to the contemporary Near East society including politics, artistic identity and the new Arabs. My recent solo exhibition 'And Did Those Feet' at al Hoash Gallery in East Jerusalem included works from IPO in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. I'm currently working on 'Sun Ra in Egypt,' a research-based project that traces the work and influence of radical jazz composer and bandleader Sun Ra and his deep passion for ancient Egypt. So yes, mobility is at the core of my artistic practice.

Please indicate a link to your current work (website/facebook page)

http://www.tombogaert.org/




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