Cup Of Tea With Fathi Mahmoud, 2019 - Ongoing
Porcelain, wood, glass and archival old newspaper. 110 x 75 cm.
This collage renders an imaginary event. Meticulously cut out from porcelain sets from the Fathi Mahmoud porcelain company. Inspired by the story behind a memorial by Fathi Mahmoud at Cairo University, commemorating student political activism in the student protests of 1934-35 and 1945-46. Students protested against British interference in Egypt and the compliance of the Egyptian government. But here, replaced by a fantasy copy, generically pastoral non-place. Comprised of porcelain pieces seeking to conjure history via object.
This piece is part of an ongoing project entitled “Cup of Tea with Fathi Mahmoud” . The project seeks to tell the multifaceted history of Fathi Mahmoud’s legacy - from the industrialization of porcelain production, to the widespread presence of his products in Egyptian households, to his personal artistic trajectory and murky relationship with the Egyptian government and the story of the political and economic shifts in Nasser’s Egypt by tracing the history of a household object, and the story of Fathi Mahmoud, the man behind this object’s vision.