Past

TO BE PRESENT

Romany Hafez

13 February, 2021 - 28 February, 2021

 

 

 

 

The photography works of Romany Hafez can be described from a contemporary perspective as formalist, aesthetic, and accessible as each work interacts with the viewer independently of his or her prior knowledge or historical context. In his current project, TO BE PRESENT, the viewer enters a universe that transcends time. While the nature of black and white photography takes one into an historical past known as the century of photography, the twentieth century, in these works, the nature of the depicted outdoor places and indoor spaces defies all assumptions of the moment, and poses speculation about any precise time. In the last century, Clive Bell claimed that one could not judge an artwork by its inherent intrinsic formal qualities alone. If one agrees, then all photographs of Romany Hafez defy space and time,and confront the viewer with their stunning aesthetics, reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s position that “a painting has a mind of its own.” In the case of each of Hafez’s spaces, it has a mind, time, narrative, aesthetics, and a memory of its own.

All the photographs stimulate vision and the understanding of the viewer’s references, but it is his ability to produce a set of aesthetics in this show that characteristics and completes Hafez’s body of work exhibited in the last five years. Using long, double, and multi-exposure creates innuendos of people who appear and/or disappear within the same image,Faces and figures attempt to pass in front of the lens, and attempt to be part of a frozen moment, or an attempt “to be present”. In all of the cases, the subject exists in a dichotomy of absence and presence alike. All physical space-time continuums are shattered successfully, and viewers may be able to live the quantum of time, but never know if the moment is in the past, present, or future.

The reflection of Susan Sontag about the role of the photographer haunts the viewer who confronts the works of Romany Hafez: “Even when photographers are most concerned with mirroring reality, they are still haunted by tacit imperatives of taste and conscience.”

About the Artist

Romany Hafez is a visual artist and creative brander, he lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. He studied creativity, innovation, and design at the Cairo School of Applied Arts, Helwan University in the nineties, alongside the sciences of Coptic language and heritage. During his expeditious journey, which spans slightly over 15 years, he has been exploring the origins and foundations of practices that have gradually faded across two millennia. Hafez has developed a new typeface that resorts back to the local ancestry of ancient Coptic art and language. His work includes photographic and textual documentation, in addition to teaching his research findings as well as the Coptic language to younger generations of artists and researchers.

Hafez is also a frequent lecturer on Coptic Heritage, Art, and Language. He’s Participated in different solo exhibitions in Egypt, Lebanon, and UAE.

Artworks

Artwork Title

Photography

30 x 30 CM

11.8 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

30 x 30 CM

11.8 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

45 x 30 CM

17.7 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

50 x 50 CM

19.7 x 19.7 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

30 x 30 CM

11.8 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

50 x 50 CM

19.7 x 19.7 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

45 x 30 CM

17.7 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

30 x 30 CM

11.8 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

45 x 30 CM

17.7 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

45 x 30 CM

17.7 x 11.8 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

45 x 30 CM

17.7 x 11.8 Inch

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