Beirut’s latest project brings together over 30 artworks from the Kadist collections in Paris and San Francisco to Cairo for a nine-month residency. The collection will be a temporary guest to Cairo and will be shown at several venues and shows around town, hence the name “A Guest without a Host is a Ghost”, noting the absence of private and public collections in the city.
The project’s launch began Tuesday and will continue Wednesday with an exhibition across three venues— the Contemporary Image Collective, Townhouse and Beirut. The exhibition will feature many international artists who are showing their work for the first time in Egypt, including Eleanor Antin, Taysir Bhatniji, Zarina Bhimji, Nicolas Consuegra, Hans Peter Feldman, Aurélien Froment, Ryan Gander, Jiří Kovanda, John Menick, Charlotte Moth, Melvin Moti, The Propeller Group & Superflex, Mungo Thomson, Walid Raad and Akram Zaatari.
The project is supported and made possible by the Kadist Art Foundation and its activities are held in partnership with the Contemporary Image Collective, Townhouse, Institut Francais d’Égypte au Caire, Gypsum Gallery, ArtTalks, Goethe Institut and Cimatheque.
For the project, Beirut selected 30 works from over 500 entries in the Kadist collection to be Cairo’s newest guests. The aim of the project is to shed light on the absence of collections and museums dedicated to contemporary art in Egypt and to encourage local art galleries and cultural spaces to interact with the temporary guests.
The project is designed in two parts. The first involves the exhibition that just opened, which aims to introduce the guests and the hosts to each other. The second aims to make the “guests” feel at home. This means having the works be displayed in new places such as homes and offices around the city, while others will be hosted in workshops and seminars as special guests.
Beirut says it selected the works to elicit an “absent presence” of artworks, collections, memories, discourses, voices, histories and stories and is particularly mindful of images, their reproducibility and their role in cinema and photography. The works are supposed to evoke two central questions, according to Beirut: “What appears in place of an absent presence? Would ghosts exist without their hosts? Would they haunt a world without us?”
The exhibition’s opening coincided with another event at Beirut: Sandra Terdjman and Léna Monnier from the Kadist Foundation in conversation with Beirut, which is organised in collaboration with Gypsum Gallery and ArtTalks.
The exhibitions open on Wednesday at the Contemporary Image Collective and Townhouse, following the opening at Beirut Tuesdays.