As long back as I can remember, reading about art has been a slightly upsetting experience, one that I therefore not seek out much. Especially explanations of visual art. Their usually arcane character leave me with a sense of inadequacy and stupidity. I’m sure education would help overcome some of this but why bother? It doesn’t prevent me from thoroughly enjoying art. I love to wander through museums and galleries and let the work do the talking. Sometimes all is quiet, sometimes one or more pieces totally engross me.
Occasionally I come across an explanation that captures my mind. An explanation that makes me look at its subject with close attention. Even if the work itself doesn’t do it for me, I can still appreciate what the artist or the curator, whoever formulated the blurb, intends to share.
Only very occasionally text and visual are so enmeshed that they enhance each other.
I quote the website of the (street) artist, French-Tunisian eL Seed, on this project:
In my new project ‘Perception’ I am questioning the level of judgment and misconception society can unconsciously have upon a community based on their differences.
In the neighborhood of Manshiyat Nasr in Cairo, the Coptic community of Zaraeeb collects the trash of the city for decades and developed the most efficient and highly profitable recycling system on a global level. Still, the place is perceived as dirty, marginalized and segregated.
To bring light on this community, with my team and the help of the local community, I created an anamorphic piece that covers almost 50 buildings only visible from a certain point of the Moqattam Mountain.
The piece of art uses the words of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a Coptic Bishop from the 3rd century, that said: ‘Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first.’
The utterly simple and adequate explanation from Anne Quito’s article on Quartz about this incredible 50-building-wide street art honors Cairo’s trash pickers, really hit home and enhanced my appreciation of the art: The design illustrates the project’s message about shifting points of view.