The Castello di Rivoli presents the first retrospective in Italy on the work of Wael Shawky, born in Alexandria in Egypt (1971) where he currently lives and works. This exhibition will showcase the artist’s main works, including the complete trilogy of Cabaret Crusades (2010–2015), a series of films that – inspired by the writings of Amin Maalouf – tell the story of the Crusades from an Arab point of view, also drawing upon primary source documents of Arab history.
By rejecting the common idea of historical eras, these works move beyond the more traditional notions concerning the clash of civilization between the Western world and Islamic cultures. In addition to a complex historical framework, Cabaret Crusades outlines in-depth psychological research, investigating the multiple protagonists of the events described through the use of marionettes. If in the first episode of the series The Horror Show File (2010) the wooden marionettes are from the Lupi collection at the Museo della Marionetta in Turin, the subsequent episodes The Path to Cairo (2013) and The Secrets of Karbala (2015) use marionettes made by the artist, respectively, in ceramic in the South of France and in glass in Venice, with the collaboration of highly skilled French and Italian artisans. By including other recent work and some made specifically for this event at the Manica Lunga in the Castello, the exhibition aims to offer a positive point of view on cultural exchange during this precise and dramatic moment in history. In conjunction, the Fondazione Merz will also showcase Wael Shawky, the winner of the first edition of the Premio Mario Merz, curated by Abdellah Karroum.
• CASTELLO DI RIVOLI MUSEO D'ARTE CONTEMPORANEA
• FONDAZIONE MERZ
Piazza Mafalda di Savoia, 10098 - Rivoli
Telephone: +39 0119565280
Fax: +39 0119565230