Yara Mekawei (Egypt)

Artisti f’Residenza, 2022

DWAR IL-PROĠETT

Yara Mekawei hija artista tal-ħsejjes li taħdem l-iktar bil-materjalità u l-immaterjalità tal-ħsejjes u tesplora kif il-ħoss jinforma u jittrasforma prattiki artistiki viżivi u ta’ skultura. Għal Mekawei, il-ħoss isir sors materjali u inkarnazzjoni fiżika ta’ għarfien li janima ħafna mix-xogħlijiet tagħha, filwaqt li tiskopri kif is-sonorità hija trasportatur u konverġenza tar-relazzjonijiet bejn il-ħin u l-ispazju, hekk kif huwa espress u esperjenzat f’filosofiji Afrikani u Għarab.

Għal dawn l-aħħar seba’ snin, ir-riċerka ta’ Mekawei kienet dwar l-iskoperta ta’ sistema ta’ traduzzjoni ta’ ħsejjes li nstemgħu f’testi Sufi. Wara li qrat ix-xogħlijiet ta’ poeti, filosfi u studjużi Sufi, bħal Ibn Sina (Avicenna) u Mansur Al-Hallaj, hi ħolqot metodoloġija li tikkodifika u tiddekodifika ittri Għarab f’numri biex isiru silta għall-kompożizzjonijiet mużikali u soniċi tagħha. Dan il-proċess ta’ traduzzjoni huwa metamorfosi ta’ mitoloġija u stejjer ta’ profeta Sufi f’qari soniku ġdid ta’ filosofiji u stejjer Sufi.

Riċentament, Mekawei ppubblikat l-ewwel ktieb tagħha fil-lingwa materna tagħha, l-Għarbi, bit-titlu: “There Are Sounds Of The Moving Images”, li huwa biċċa xogħol li rriżulta minn snin ta’ ħidma, riċerka u prattika fil-qasam tal-arti sonika. Il-pubblikazzjoni teżamina dak li hi tirreferi għalih bħala “viżjoni tal-widna”. Mekawei testendi mistoqsijiet kunċettwali dwar il-mużika u l-istorja, l-interkonnessjoni tagħha ma’ teknoloġiji moderni, kunċetti tal-arti diġitali u viżiva li jikkonċernaw il-filosofija tal-widna u l-prattiki tas-smigħ.

Fil-bidu, l-investigazzjoni ta’ Mekawei fl-arkitetturi urbani, l-istejjer soċjali, il-migrazzjoni tal-bnedmin u iktar mill-bnedmin, tista’ tinqara permezz tal-kunċett ta’ Henri Lafebre ta’ analiżi tar-ritmu bħala mezz ta’ interazzjoni mal-ibliet permezz tal-ħsejjes tagħhom u permezz tas-smigħ ta’ kif l-ibliet jinbidlu soċjalment, kulturalment u politikament mal-mużika.

Mekawei tat spettaklu u ppreżentat xogħolha internazzjonalment, li ftit minnhom jinkludu DAAD Galerie (Berlin, 2022), SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin, 2021), Liverpool Arab festival (Liverpool, 2021), SHUBBAK festival (London, 2021), Rote Fabrik (Zürich, 2019), MEMPHIS Gallery (Linz, 2019),

Halle14 (Leipzig, 2019), Dakar Biennial (Dakar, 2018), FAK’UGESI African Digital Innovation Festival

(Johannesburg, 2018), Cairotronica festival (2018), Lagos Biennial (Lagos, 2017), Art El Lewa Art

Space (Cairo, 2014), Darb 1718 (Cairo, 2015), Biennale Méditerranéenne d’art Contemporain

d’Oran (Oran, 2014).


Il-wirja u l-preżentazzjoni tar-residenza ta’ Yara se ssir nhar il-Ġimgħa 25 ta’ Novembru fis-7 pm, fi Studio B, Spazju Kreattiv. Matul l-avveniment, Yara se tkun qed tesegwixxi l-kompożizzjonijiet tad-diski tagħha li jsiru fil-Belt Valletta, minn bini arkitettoniku, swieq, u soundscapes tal-belt.

Dawk interessati li jattendu, huma ġentilment mitluba jirreġistraw billi jibagħtu email fuq spazju@kreattivita.org


Q&A With the Artist

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

Yara Mekawei is a sound artist who mainly works with the materiality and immateriality of sound and explores how sound informs and transforms visual and sculptural artistic practices. For Mekawei, sound becomes a material source and a physical embodiment of knowledge(s) that animates most of her works, while exploring how sonorousness is a transducer and convergence of time-space relations, as expressed and experienced in African and Arabic philosophies.

For the past seven years, Mekawei’s research has been exploring a system of translation of sounds heard behind Sufi texts. By reading works of Sufi poets, philosophers, and scholars, such as Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Mansur Al-Hallaj, she created a methodology that codes and decodes Arabic letters into numerals to become a score for her musical and sonic compositions. This translation process is a metamorphosis of mythology and Sufi prophet’s stories into new sonic readings of Sufi philosophies and histories.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR ART PRACTICE AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU

Recently, Mekawei published her first book in her mother tongue language Arabic titled: There Are Sounds Of The Moving Images, which is a body of work resulting from years of working with, researching, and practicing within the sonic arts domain. The publication examines what she refers to as “ear vision”. Mekawei traverses conceptual questions on music and history, its interconnection with modern technologies, digital and visual art concepts concerning the philosophy of the ear, and listening practices.

In 2018, Mekawei founded Radio Submarine / راديو الغواصة . As a storyteller, she is traversing African cities through the dimension of their sonority and music. One of the central connections between the different visits to each feature is water. Water becomes a space of transmission of African sensibility across the continent. Water travels beyond the geolocality of Africa as a fixed space, engaging with those who traveled (historically and today) while carrying with them their sounds and music. For Mekawei, Radio Submarine is a connection to history and represents the multiplicity of sounds and music created across various African cities. Her work repudiates colonialist cartographies that have structured and limited the movement and relationships of people across the African continent.

Initially, Mekawei’s investigation into the urban architectures, social histories, migration of humans, and more than humans can be read through Henri Lafebre’s notion of rhythm analysis as a means of engaging with cities through their sounds and by listening to how cities shift socially, culturally politically with music.

Mekawei’s has performed and shown her work internationally, to mention a few, in Niobidensaal, Neues Museum (2022, Berlin), SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin, 2021), Liverpool Arab festival (Liverpool, 2021), Donaueschingen global Festival (Donaueschingen, 2021), Rote Fabrik (Zürich, 2019), MEMPHIS Gallery (Linz, 2019), Halle14 (Leipzig, 2019), Dakar Biennial (Dakar, 2018), FAK’UGESI African Digital Innovation Festival (Johannesburg, 2018), Cairotronica festival (2018), Lagos Biennial (Lagos, 2017), Art El Lewa Art Space (Cairo, 2014), Darb 1718 (Cairo, 2015), Biennale Méditerranéenne d’art Contemporain d’Oran (Oran, 2014).

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR RESIDENCY IN MALTA?

Frozen music in Valletta,

Space is also born in sound, and there where it actually finds its peculiar physical structures. Consistently associated with the temporary nature of the acoustic phenomenon and its intangibility, which in turn lies in the ambiguity of the elastic. Places space in various situations: in the same objective and medium, question, and process, essentially a quiet machine teaching the gentleness of the sound designer. A changing open perspective as listening to oneself, such as whether sound can be not only an architectural analogy but also its vibrational principle. Similar to the way Goethe wisely called architecture: “as frozen music”

Throughout Tunis, Constantine, Alexandria, Palermo, and Palma; I recorded several soundscapes of each city. Focusing on the architecture and the local markets. Planning my own urban sonic map. In Valletta, many ambient sounds follow. Another language to listen to. Many stories to record.

Spazju Kreattiv Artists’ Residency programme is organised in collaboration with the Valletta Design Cluster and the Ministry for Gozo