Basim Magdy, Tamara Al Samerraei and Taha Belal, H26
For Focus, Gypsum Gallery explores ‘time reconfigured’ as seen in the work of Basim Magdy (photography), Tamara Al Samerraei (painting) and Taha Belal (sculpture).
Magdy presents two light boxes mounted with clamps on metal structures. One light box displays the statement ‘The Future Belongs to Us’ in large bold letters while the second one shows an image of an encyclopaedic illustration from the 1960s that captures an Ankylosaurus (a prehistoric creature we know very little about) as it approaches a pond to drink.
Al Samerraei presents acrylic on canvas paintings that draw upon a stock of faded personal snapshots of summer vacations by the pool (typically associated with luxury and sensuality) and a recurring set of dreams in which pools turn into threatening bodies of water. In her work, light and perspective don’t quite function the way they should. Her pools are solid, opaque and non-reflective and their angles are skewed.
Showing discrete yet flamboyant sculptures, Belal continues his formal investigation of the interface between his work as an artist and his day job in an office. Layering materials ranging from silver shards of mirror, cardboard and aluminium foil to soft vinyl, Belal makes delicate composites made of concrete and suspended between the familiar and the entirely unknown. His sculptures are presented on freestanding, minimal, metal pedestals with four legs.
In all the works, time is redefined: Magdy explores time as progress and ultimate failure; Al Samerraei explores time as dream or memory; and Belal explores time as labour.