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Dancemania - Videospotting in Cairo

Screening and discussion with Barbara Borčić

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Library of the Townhouse Gallery, Downtown, Cairo, Egypt
Organised by HaRaKa

The screening was a follow-up of a previous presentation of SCCA’s and HaRaKa in 2008 on the occasion of the interdisciplinary festival Connections when Videodance_6, a video programcurated by Barbara Borčić, was screened twice in the Townhouse Gallery. The program encountered a good response which encouraged our further collaboration.

This time the program was composed of "classic" video-dance works from the "golden age" of this genre in Slovenia in the mid 90s. The projection and discussion were well attended and the spectators came from different art fields, theatre and film directors, writers, young artists, including some participants of the Open Studio workshop of Neven Korda. The audience in Cairo is much more curious than in Ljubljana. They were interested in the today’s situation regarding video-dance and the production of video works of this genre and also about the relations between video-dance and video-art. It became clear that some younger viewers had not been acquainted with the analogue video at all, because they were always working only with a digital one. The audience also wondered about the changes either in video-dance or in dance in general that were brought about by the relocation of dance performances from the halls and stages to the external scenes and the industrial environment. Dancemania, the thematic program from 1997, was very clear on this matter, because it showed many different approaches to video-dance. Perhaps the videos were good signifiers of the specific time and place and of the opportunities that were enabled by the technology. Later, one of the participants of the Open Studio workshop commented that even though so little time had passed from the production of those videos (1992-1996) to the introduction of digital video, it seemed incredible that, at least for him, the screened works were visually completely unusual yet very interesting. It seemed to him as if he were witnessing a kind of archaeology of video art.

The audience was intrigued, for example, by the role of TV as a co-producer of video art works in Slovenia in the 90s and the fact that the art video was broadcasted on national TV, which seemed quite unthinkable to them. When I mentioned their great film tradition as one of the largest cinematographers (by the number of films made), they got a little embarrassed and they commented that the film production was lately more similar to Bollywood than anything else...

Once upon a time there was a street full of theatres in Cairo, a real Broadway. That was exactly the street where the Studio Emad Eddin Foundation, our site for the workshop, was situated. After the revolution in the 50s, during the ‘cleansing’ of the bourgeois art in Egypt, many theatres were closed or transformed into cinemas. Later, the cinemas were closed and partly to the unresolved ownership, many of those places are still empty today. Adham Hafez, the director of HaRaKa, with whom I prepared the event, says that at least one of those places would already mean a great deal to them...

Barbara Borčić

Dancemania - Videospotting in Cairo Dancemania - Videospotting in Cairo

Dancemania - Videospotting in Cairo Dancemania - Videospotting in Cairo



HaRaKa (movement and performance platform, Cairo, Egypt), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo, Egypt), SCCA-Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Studio Emad Eddin Foundation (Cairo, Egypt)

The programme was partly financed by the Department of Culture of the City of Ljubljana and partly by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.
The residency was supported by the Townhouse Gallery and HaRaKa in Cairo, Egypt.



In Focus

At some point,
in some place

(video screening from
DIVA Station archive)

Short Film Night:
21 Dec. 2017, 10.30pm

Slovenian Cinematheque
Free entrance!


Contemporary art
and art theory

Focus: curatorial practices and media & video art

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Zavod SCCA-Ljubljana
, Metelkova 6, SI - 1000 Ljubljana,
Tel.: +386 (0)1 431 83 85, Fax: +386 (0)1 430 06 29 e-mail: info@scca-ljubljana.si