Edition 2023

PRESENTED BY TINTERA, Cairo, Egypt / London, United Kingdom.

Ibrahim Ahmed and Lina Geoushy

Inheriting and Surrendering the Performance

Prompted by the archive ‒ the personal and the popular ‒ Ibrahim Ahmed and Lina Geoushy explore the connection between the image and embodiments of masculinity and womanhood. Through self-portraiture, they offer new representations, more accurately aligned with their understanding of their respective gender positions.

Ahmed interrogates his relationship with manhood, and its codification into his body. Reflecting on societal norms ‒ inherited by men across generations ‒ that impose certain performances of masculinity, he enacts gendered stereotypes in his studio. Using collage as rupture, he deconstructs these popular male archetypes, and in turn, disrupts notions of beauty and power. He then turns to his family album, finding a mirror in his father’s gestures and displays of manliness. Tracing his own connection to these roots, Ahmed embarks on a cathartic dialogue with the patriarch of his family. As his self-portraits fold into his father’s archive, Ahmed foregrounds the fractured self, finding resonance in a man he once found distant. Through this intimate reading, Ahmed seeks to discover connections between his personal experience and the universal manifestations ‒ and trappings ‒ of masculinity.

Lina Geoushy enquires into Egypt’s feminist history. Growing up, she was deeply impacted by Egyptian films that were made from the 1940s to the 60s ‒ a period known as the golden age of cinema in Egypt ‒ in which women played powerful characters. These portrayals were in stark contrast to the conservative reality that she witnessed the women around her navigate from the 90s onwards. Responding to this dissonance, Geoushy builds an archive informed by a feminist impulse. Through performance, she embodies different narratives of trailblazing women ‒ often overlooked by mainstream records ‒ and presents multiple readings of female liberation.

Both artists trace photography’s relationship with iconography ‒ one dismantles popular notions and the other builds new articulations. In interrogating personal and public histories, Ahmed and Geoushy’s works enter into dialogue, to present a reclaimed narrative of depictions of gender within Egyptian society.

Tanvi Mishra

Curator: Tanvi Mishra

With support from the Louis Roederer Foundation and Polka.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture