The Subduer, 2017

Basel 2017
Gypsum Gallery
Photography
44.5 x 59.0 x 1.0 (cm)
17.5 x 23.2 x 0.4 (inch)
The Subduer was born out of a regular visit by Maamoun to one of the many public notary offices in Egypt. In these offices, citizens, state functionaries and legal/bureaucratic processes strain on a daily basis to continue functioning with and against each other. In the midst of these tense relationships, or maybe because of them, prayers abound. A slew of soiled and aging sheets of paper, informally pinned or taped on the walls, appear on the walls of these offices. Calling on our higher selves, our finer temperaments, our sense of forgiveness, and reminding us of the brevity of this material world, these prayers project a parallel or supplementary world-view to the highly regulated material world of these offices. Following this paper trail, Maamoun visited many public notary offices across Cairo to surreptitiously record the appearance of these prayers with the camera of her mobile phone. A photographic installation is accompanied by a publication that reflects on these prayers and their context. The title is a reference to one of the ‘99 most beautiful names of Allah’ in Islamic tradition.