Maha Maamoun: 2026

HMKV Video of the Month

 

Through her practice in video and photography, Maha Maamoun reframes recognizable images found in mainstream culture so that viewers can revisit them in insightful ways. In the instance of 2026, the artist draws from Chris Marker’s science fiction film La Jetée (1962), in which survivors of a nuclear apocalypse send a prisoner on a journey through time to call those in the past and future for help in the present.

Maamoun restages a scene from La Jetée in which a man lying in a hammock wears an eye mask from which cables protrude and run down his body. Instead of hearing the original soundtrack from La Jetée, we hear a distant voice reading from a science fiction novel by Mahmoud Osman, The Revolution of 2053: The Beginning (2007). The novel describes a dystopian vision of Egypt in which a fictional revolution in 2053 has driven the country to social ruin.

With an eerie sense of foreboding, Maamoun created 2026 just one year before the actual Egyptian revolution of 2011, in which then-president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. In her video, with its disorienting mix of references and nonlinear narrative, the artist confuses fact with fiction—a mimicry of how revolutionary change is both anticipated, experienced, and remembered.

2026 by Maha Maamoun is part of the main exhibition of the Wiener Festwochen 2024 curated by Inke Arns and Andrea Popelka. The exhibition entitled Comrade Sun can be seen at Kunsthalle Wien from May 17 (until September 1, 2024). More: https://kunsthallewien.at/en/exhibition/genossin-sonne/

Selected by Inke Arns (HMKV)

 

Maha Maamoun is an artist, curator and publisher. Her work examines the form, function and currency of visual and literary images as an entry point to investigating the cultural fabric that we weave and are woven into. She is co-founder of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC) in Cairo (2004) and the publishing and curatorial platform Kayfa ta (2012).

More on the artist: http://gypsumgallery.com/bio-maha-maamoun

In the series “HMKV Video of the Month” HMKV presents current video works by international artists in monthly rotation – selected by Inke Arns.