The works of Basim Magdy (born 1977 in Assiut, Egypt, lives and works in Basel and Cairo) unfold in an environment that is devoid of indications of time and space, oscillating between an imagined world and our own. The works nevertheless share a precise timing, namely the moment just before when the full scale of the failure of an idealised future becomes apparent. This sentiment is present, for example, in his film The Dent (2014), which describes the excitement of a small village that aspires to organise the Olympics. When, despite their sacrifice and efforts, the prospect of defeat becomes obvious, the village resorts to hypnotising a circus. In the film The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys (2014), on the other hand, a man calls a random number and explains how he found himself in solitude after his entire community walks to the beach to never return. The surrealistic visual essays that capture the absorbing space between hollow desires and delusions are humorous reflections of Magdy's scepticism towards utopian states, a reflection on the pre-emptive faith in a future state of progress. As Magdy states: “I am fascinated by the way we constantly fool ourselves into envisioning a future completely detached from the present and the past. The future we were promised for the beginning of the twenty-first century never arrived because it wasn't rooted in the realities of the 1960s.”
bilingual edition (English / French)
Jeu de Paume - Monographs
Companion book to Basim Madgy's eponymous video: a dreamlike tale about the ocean and its secrets.