Alexandria’s BIbliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the modern-day version of the venerable Greek-era Library of Alexandria, is currently holding its 8th International Biennale for the Artist’s Book. The Biennale opened on 10 September 2018, at the East and West exhibitions hall, and runs till 7 October 2018, with Chadi Adib Salama as its commissaire.
This eighth round witnesses the participation of 37 independent artists representing more than 14 different countries including Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia, China, Canada, Hungary, the UK, Iraq, the USA, Greece and Egypt.
The event also features an exhibition that showcases two key collections, namely the “Writing the Divine Comedy” project collection—which includes the works of over 10 artists of different nationalities and was organised by Paolo Sabbatini, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute (IIC); and the La Diane Française publishing house collection. La Diane Française specializes in publishing handmade books, and is contributing to this year’s event with 18 new artist’s books by various European artists. The 18 works were handed to the BA by Jean-Paul Aureglia, Director of La Diane Française. Renowned Egyptian artist Ahmed Morsi is also be participating in the event with his book “Cavafy Suite”.
The 8th round of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Biennale for the Artist’s Book arises in 2018 as a state of “artistic riot”—an attempt to reach the most of what we can present as unique and individual contemporary thought from the creative experiences of artists from various countries. Each of the artists taking part in this round is a rebel; one that defies upheld conventions and is innovative and experimental in terms of ideas and the materials. These artists were chosen to represent different, detached generations; most have excelled internationally in various fields that are somehow connected to the Artist’s Book, either in terms of ideas or techniques.
The commissaire, Dr Salama, is a lecturer at Helwan University’s Faculty of Art Education, and a visual artist and exhibitions curator. He founded the “It Looks Like a Book” Studio, and has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in artistic events, both nationally and internationally, since 1999. He also holds a number of national and international awards.
The Egyptian artists participating in this year’s round include Ahmed Abdel-Karim, Ahmed Morsi, Osama Abdel-Moneim, Ashraf Alhadi, Alfons Louis Gayid, Hazem el-Mestikawy, Hossam Elsawah, Khaled Sirag, Dalia Refaat, Safaa Mohamed Attiah, Abdel Wahab Abdel Mohsen, Omar Toussoun, Mohamed El Masry, Mohamed Banawy, Mohamed Alaa, Mohamed Wahba, Mostafa El Razzaz, Maha George, Hagar Ragab, Heba Khalifa, Heba El Aziz and Youssef Ragheb.
The Biennale is accompanied by a series of activities that revolve around the field of the Artist’s Book, and are held in cooperation with artists and artistic associations from Alexandria and Cairo.
23 September 2018