Egyptian Scale

2016, Historical photograph 1900/1920. Drawings, ink and charcoal. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès, Paris

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The Egyptian Scale is based on a series of photographs of Egyptian ruins and temples from 1900-1920 made by the Swiss photographer V. de Mestral-Combremont. In each plate, the photographer placed an Egyptian man to give a sense of the size of the architecture. By applying a layer of Ink and charcoal on top of the original plates a new reading arise: the drawing of a grid highlights how the “local” Egyptian was used as a measuring scale. This western gaze upon ruins is part of the construct of a value system that was set by modernity. The red ink flow on the photograph highlights the position of the Egyptian man, but also annunciate a moment of violence upon historical ruins. 

 

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