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sound cells : FRIDAYS

In his sound installation Magdi Mostafa evokes his Cairo neighbourhood, as heard on Fridays - a day of prayer, but also of household chores and cleaning.
Apr 2013

sound cells : FRIDAYS (2010), the second installation in Magdi Mostafa’s "(sound cells)" series, is an abstract evocation of the artist's Cairo neighbourhood, Ardellawa, as heard on Fridays - a day of prayer, but also a day of household chores and cleaning.

In this work, old and hand-built washing machines of different makes and sizes - all acquired from the artist's neighbours - are timed to spin at various intervals. Microphones amplify their empty rumblings, which are set against the sounds of a Friday sermon that emanates from an imposing tower of thirty speakers. In the recording, a sheikh describes women as vessels that can be used for procreation, much like the empty vessels spinning in the background - machines that themselves symbolise social and cultural values such as technological progress and domesticity. While capturing the aural character of a particular space, sound cells : FRIDAYS thus also touches on gender roles in a society at the intersection of religious conservatism and globalised modernity.

More about, please see the video of
>> Magdi Mostafa explaining his work


Magdi Mostafa
* 1982 Tanta, Egypt. Lives in Cairo, Egypt.
Magdi Mostafa creates site-specific, research-driven sound projects, multimedia installations and experimental music. Exploring the conceptual relationships between sound and space, his work often draws on his interests in the phenomenological experiences of the individual in the city and the nostalgia provoked by outmoded technologies.

Mostafa has exhibited both in Egypt and internationally, and he has participated in numerous residency programmes in the United States and Europe, including at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, New York, USA (2010); Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy (2010); and Hangar, Barcelona, Spain (2009).


© Text from the catalogue of Sharjah Biennial 11, re-published with permission of the Sharjah Art Foundation.
© Photos, video: Binder & Haupt

sound cells : FRIDAYS, 2010
Washing machines, microphones, mic stands, speakers, mixer and sound system, dimensions variable

Presented at Sharjah Biennial 11
13 March - 13 May 2013
United Arab Emirates

One of the seven Sharjah Biennial 11 Prizes

Related Content:

Interview with the Egyptian artist about his sound projects created during a residency in Dubai.
13 March - 13 May 2013, United Arab Emirates. Curator: Yuko Hasegawa. Sharjah Art Foundation President and Director: Hoor Al Qasimi.
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