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Egypt's Culture WarsPolitics and Practice$
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Samia Mehrez

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163746

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163746.001.0001

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Found in Cairo The limits of Representation in the visual field

Found in Cairo The limits of Representation in the visual field

(p.208) 11 Found in Cairo The limits of Representation in the visual field
Egypt's Culture Wars

Samia Mehrez

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter reads the work of Huda Lutfi, one of Egypt's leading avant-garde artists, focusing specifically on her widely reviewed and controversial exhibit Found in Cairo as a way to enter the field of contemporary visual practices in Egypt and to explore the cultural politics that govern this increasingly vibrant and transnational sphere. Lutfi formally entered the field of visual arts in Egypt during the early 1990s just as major changes were occurring within it, the most important of which is the visible expansion of an international, private curator market in Egypt that is perceived as a threat to the national state-run visual field. The discussion argues that the entire Found in Cairo crisis becomes not only a test of the artist's autonomy in face of street, state, and self-censorship but an instructive moment of the politics of artistic representation and reception in Egypt today.

Keywords:   Huda Lutfi, avant-garde artists, Egypt, cultural politics, censorship

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