Judith Barry’s …Cairo Stories focuses on personal stories told to the artist by women of different backgrounds that she interviewed in Cairo between 2003 and 2011. Speaking to the women about Cairo’s social, political, and economic systems and how they inform their daily lives, the interviews were conducted in both English and Arabic and later turned into scripts and retold using actors. Resulting in both still photographs and videos, the work has been shown in a variety of ways, including its current incarnation as part of the exhibition Take It or Leave It, currently on view at the Hammer Museum, and a more expansive version currently on view at Rosamund Felson Gallery in Santa Monica. …Cairo Stories is part of a larger body of work, …Not Reconciled, which explores the construction of subjectivity, representation, and history.
…Cairo Stories grew out of the artist’s experiences representing the U.S. at the Cairo Biennial in 2001 and at Townhouse Gallery in Cairo. As the founding director of Townhouse, William Wells will give us a glimpse into the genesis of the project and working with Barry as well as the general social and political situation for artists in Cairo over the time period of the project and today.
William Wells is the founding director of the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, Egypt. Established in 1998, Townhouse and Wells have grown to be integral to the emergence of Cairene contemporary art on a world stage and the integration of international contemporary art locally in underserved areas of Cairo.
About Townhouse Gallery
Townhouse was established in downtown Cairo in 1998 as an independent, non-profit art space with a goal of making contemporary art and culture accessible to all without compromising creative practice. Townhouse supports artistic work in a wide range of media through exhibitions, residencies for artists, curators and writers, educational initiatives and outreach programs. By establishing local and international relationships, as well as diversifying both the practitioners and audiences of contemporary art, Townhouse aims to support and expand the knowledge, appreciation and practice of contemporary arts in Egypt and the region.