El Beit El Kabir, 2015
The series is anchored in three concepts – site, text and lost history. Here the site is the last architectural/physical connection between the artist and her birthplace; the text is a Rumi poem that talks about placelessness/tracelessness that embodies the immigrant/nomadic experience; and the lost history is the narrative of many immigrants that leave behind their home, heritage and familiar faces, and have to live in a permanent liminal space of otherness. In 2007, the local government in Luxor, Egypt demolished the Guirguis family house to widen the road, in an effort to mitigate the growth in the city’s population and to accommodate the growing tourist industry there. For the artist, who left Egypt more than two decades ago, this severed the last remaining ties to her home and, hence, her homeland. What exists now is a synthesis of memories and photographs – the ethereal and the tangible – and she uses these as the basis of her new work.
Photo Credit: Panic Studio L.A.