They stand tall and proud, with their pointed tops piercing the sky, seemingly untouched by all that takes place around them.
The Giza pyramids — oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — will serve as the backdrop for “Forever is Now,” an exhibition scheduled to run from Oct. 23 until mid-November 2021, showcasing works by Egyptian and international artists.
The exhibition is the fourth staged by Art D’Egypte, a company launched in 2016 to promote contemporary Egyptian art through shows at historic sites around the country. Previous exhibitions have been staged in the Manial Palace, the Egyptian Museum and at four heritage sites on Mu’iz Street in historic Cairo.
“This iconic exhibition will show how Egypt became the cradle of civilization and how it continues to open its arms to the world,” Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, founder of Art D’Egypte, told Arab News.
“For many, the ancient Egyptian civilization is the origin of all art. Throughout history artists from around the world have been influenced by ancient Egypt.”
The “Forever Is Now” exhibition is co-curated by Simon Watson and Ghaffar, and will be presented by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, led by Khaled El-Enany, under the patronage of the UNESCO National Committee in Egypt.
“Forever Is Now” features international artists, is co-curated by a French-Egyptian and an American, and will offer a cross-cultural vision, showcasing ancient Egypt as an enduring source of inspiration for contemporary artists throughout history.
Viewing contemporary art against the backdrop of the Giza pyramids may well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it is coming at a time when the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Yet Ghaffar is steadfast in her aims.
“Our curatorial vision did not change because of the pandemic,” she said. “We are in awe of the ancient Egyptian civilization and are even more so now due to the pandemic. These monuments survived pandemics and wars. The pyramids are a testament to the importance of culture and heritage.
“Most of the pieces will be site-specific and will shed light on the influence ancient Egypt has on artists today, like the form of the pyramid itself,” she added.
“The exhibition is about today,” said Ghaffar. “It is an exhibition of hope. Things will get better. No matter what happens, humanity can overcome it, and paying tribute to culture and heritage is crucial now.”