Eternal Light

Eternal Light: Something Old, Something New, was the first in a series of pop-up shows to be held at different heritage sites across Egypt. Curated by Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, Eternal Light was on view from October 28–31, 2017, and was inaugurated with A Night of Art at the Egyptian Museum where 16 artworks by Egypt’s foremost contemporary artists was displayed against the timeless backdrop of pharaonic artifacts at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The inaugural event was held under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, and H.E. Dr. Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Antiquities presented the Egyptian Museum’s heritage preservation initiatives.

In a bold curatorial first, Art D’Égypte, a privately owned, multidisciplinary art consultancy, allowed guests the unique opportunity to observe contemporary Egyptian art in a profound dialogue with artifacts from Ancient Egypt. For one mesmerizing evening, attendees of Eternal Light: Something Old, Something New were able to contemplate the flow of light and energy connecting the ancient past with the artistic vernacular of the present. They saw how the backdrop of ancient Egyptian artifacts imbues the contemporary works with deeper resonance and enhances their ability to build the next layer of the Egyptian story. Simultaneously, the presence of contemporary Egyptian artwork in this setting stimulated the audience to question long-held interpretations of ancient Egyptian culture.

In many people’s minds, Egypt invokes visions of either pharaohs, temples and pyramids or of the turbulent politics of the past six years. Little is known on an international level about the wealth of modern and contemporary art that seeks to transcribe the social, political and cultural issues of the present—or simply to portray contemporary daily life—by drawing on the visual motifs of Ancient Egypt that underpin the Egyptian identity to this day. Eternal Light: Something Old, Something New brings together works by Egypt’s most prominent contemporary artists to show the world that Egypt continues to play a crucial role in contemporary artistic and cultural life. The artworks on display drew upon various elements of the styles, movement, color and themes of Ancient Egyptian art and transformed them into multi-faceted conversations that reflect and reinterpret the complexity of Egyptian culture for the 21st century’s global audience.

In addition to creating new markets for Egyptian art and highlighting the complexity and richness of the Egyptian cultural landscape, the exhibition also aimed to draw attention to rehabilitation initiatives at the Egyptian Museum. In conjunction with the planned events, Art D’Égypte has succeeded in helping the Ministry of Antiquities secure sponsorships from private sector donors for several vital projects at the museum.

Art D’Égypte met all of its objectives in creating awareness of Egypt’s rich art scene, encouraging in kind donations to help preserve the museum, encouraging tourism from international VIP’s, and shedding a positive light on Egypt we are confident in growing the event and cementing our place on the international art & culture worlds calendar         



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