Contemporary Arts



Domestic Relations: The Couch

October 15th – November 11th, 2012

Eman Abdou captures us with a brand new series of eloquent yet ironic objects of power: The Couch. Occupying a genre of domesticity, whether set across a scene of the collective ‘family’ or the empirical individuality, do we meet the passive participant to the Egyptian condition that might have or might not have partaken into the changes still being sought in this new world order. An attempt of political roclamation, concealed by the emblem of a couch dressed in a typical floral motif to the Egyptian peasant culture, do we recognize the unity of a collective discernment towards the demands of change.


Abdou had begun this collective in 2011, as risings were still taking their toll, questions were left for ponder, activists varied in their choices of classification, and with a determination to bring back power to “the people,” do we witness a more simplified and user-friendly approach to what Jacques Rancière states as ‘the people’ (or demos) are entitled to share all freedom. In his description for the “avant-garde” does Rancière explain ‘the party’ as “an advanced detachment that derives its ability to lead from its ability to read and interpret the signs of history.” That being said, do we witness a relationship between political parties and aesthetic. Rancière refocuses the people’s power on their ability to present themselves and onto the aesthetic humanitarian and the aesthetic righteous, leaving us with the open-ended question;
What do the people have to give back to their community?


In The Couch, does Abdou retain her faith back to “the people” and explores the role of a household object, be it a couch sitting in your living room, secretly holding up private conversations about the counteracted domestic tank; a object lying across the living room walls, with its flowered motifs and beautified attempts to bring back social order. It is in Abdou’s Domestic Relations, does she dare to initiate an exploration into her own personal renderings of an emotional state to collective uncertainties. The couch, a silent participant in the  household, hosts the attempts of rest or continuous redundancy, and through its collectivity does it reveal the powers of a silenced voice.

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