Ever Imagined Egypt Could Look Like This?

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Photo: Courtesy of Barry Iverson

The line between fact and fiction is said to be a fine one and, if you’re in search of evidence, a beeline for The Workshop might be in order. The café-meets-events-space has partnered up with contemporary art gallery Fann a Porter to host the works of photojournalist Barry Iverson, whose 25-year stint with Time magazine gave him endless insights into the social and political landscape of Egypt and the Middle East as a whole. The result? The rich tapestry of the region transforming into art.

Photo: Courtesy of Barry Iverson

Drawing inspiration from classic Egyptian cinema and antique postcards, Iverson infuses his extensive archive of imagery with a special technique resulting in hand-colored photographic prints collectively entitled The Tour. “In a twist of historical revisionism and ambivalent truths, this series represents my tour, and I have constructed a fictional documentary of Egyptians and cosmopolitan Levantine residents on visits to places throughout the Mediterranean and Near East. At its core are works of architectural studies that result in a projection of subjective memories on actual places,” says the famed photographer of his series.

Old and new are ingeniously juxtaposed, simultaneously depicting life in the 19th and 20th centuries and probing at the persistent image of the ‘Orient’ in our collective imagination. “I am interested in the interplay between the past and present and the seamless transition between them. As one examines the scenes of original and found imagery, certain expectations are upended, and the definition of what is old is no longer what it seems – or should be.”

A selection of prints from Barry Iverson’s ‘The Tour’ series will be on display at The Workshop from February 19 to March 14.

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