Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1405, ( 9 - 15 August 2018)
Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Issue 1405, ( 9 - 15 August 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Sara Sallam’s exhibition “The Fourth Pyramid Belongs to Her” is on show at Darb 1718 gallery

Sara Sallam’s exhibition “The Fourth Pyramid Belongs to Her” is on show at Darb 1718 gallery
Sara Sallam’s exhibition “The Fourth Pyramid Belongs to Her” is on show at Darb 1718 gallery

“The Fourth Pyramid Belongs to Her” is an exhibition of photography and video art by Sara Sallam, which opened on 8 August at Darb 1718 gallery.

It features a body of work on the relationship between personal and collective mourning. “It draws analogies between my experience of losing my grandmother with the historical, touristic and archaeological perceptions of death that surrounded me growing up in Egypt. In a country where an ancient civilisation is buried under years of sand, a tomb may appear in many forms; as a touristic site, a museum hall, an excavation pit, or even as a home. These threads of coexisting attitudes towards the dead are interwoven into my project through the juxtaposition of different visual and textual material such as excerpts from ancient letters and spells, imagery from colonial publications, stills from Egyptian films, a series of collaged portraits of my grandmother, and landscapes depicting the numerous facets of an Egyptian tomb,” Sallam explained.

The project on the whole explores how the emergence of the colonially empowered act of unearthing, collecting and displaying antiquities has affected how the ancient Egyptian heritage in general and the Pharaonic death in particular are seen as a spectacle. By portraying her grandmother as a Pharaoh, she addresses the prevailing apathy towards ancient remains perceived globally as artefacts. Sallam attempts to bridge the gap between the emotional, personal mourning of a departed loved one and the absent collective mourning of the Pharaohs.

“To read my words mourning her becomes thus an act of mourning my ancestors, and thereby re-acknowledging their forgotten humanity,” she says. 

A multi-disciplinary Egyptian artist, documentary photographer and designer, Sallam is based in the Netherlands. She acquired a BA in media design from the German University in Cairo, an MA in Documentary Photography from the University of the Arts in London, and is currently pursuing an MA in film and photographic studies at Leiden University. Her first monograph “The Invisible: Faith as a Phenomenon” was shortlisted in Kassel Photo Book Award at the Photo Independent Art Fair, and was exhibited in Offprint London and Format Festival. 


The exhibition is on till 14 August

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