After what one participant described as a 30-year wait, Egypt’s first Contemporary Art Salon opened in Cairo on November 3. The majority of the exhibited works looked as if they had come from a period the world had left behind.
There is no universal definition of Contemporary Art. Most critics agree that it combines the performing arts, complex figurative forms, the use of video, and spatial installations, based on philosophical foundations. But is hard to say precisely when it began.
The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London was founded in 1947. The website My Modern Met says Contemporary displaced Modern Art in the 1970s. The organisers of the four-week-long Cairo Salon take the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 as their starting point.
Artist Mohamed Abla told Al-Fanar Media in an interview that the salon was “at least 30 years late”, but added: “It is better to come late than never.” He noted that this is a foundational session, and said “perhaps things are going for the better.”