The 3rd edition of the “Forever Is Now“ art exhibition is on show until November 17, 2023, in the area of the Pyramids of Giza and the surrounding plateau. 14 local and international artists are participating, including the Belgian Arne Quinze, the Brazilian Arthur Lescher, the Emirati Azza Al-Qubaisi, the American Carol Feuerman, the Greeks Dionysios and Costas Varotsos, the French duo JR and Stéphane Breuer, the Egyptian Mohamed Banawy, the Argentinean Pilar Zeta, the Bahraini Rashid Al Khalifa, the Saudi Rashed Al Shashai, the Dutch Sabine Marcelis, and the Egyptian-British Sam Shendi. Their works confront their modern ideas with the almost 5000 years-old pyramids in the background.
This year, the exhibition raises questions about the new era of technology and cultural change that the world is going through, by combining cultural heritage with the rich diversity of contemporary art practices. “The exhibition also highlights the importance of cultural exchange among artists, demonstrating the position of human creativity at the heart of pulsating history and ancient Egyptian civilization,“ says Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, founder of “CulturVator – Art of Egypte“ which is the organizer and curator of the event taking place under the auspices of the Ministries of Tourism and Antiquities, Foreign Affairs, Culture, and the Egyptian National Commission for Unesco.
Source: Art d’Egypte / CulturVator
The Egyptian-British artist Sam Shendi presents the concept of “The Phantom Temple.“ He remarked on how ancient Egyptian civilization left an imprint on the land and how imagination can transport us beyond time. His sculptural works serve as a bridge between the past and the future, transcending classifications and fitting into any artistic context. His sculptures are vibrant reflections of the human condition.
The French artist Stéphane Breuer shared his excitement about presenting his artwork “Temple •I•“ for the first time at the foot of the pyramids. His piece is not just a physical monument celebrating a single king, as was the case in ancient times, but it appears as a golden inverted triangle floating in space, like a divine apparition. It conveys both a strong material and spiritual message, with the aim of preserving the digital memories of each individual who interacts with it invisibly. This makes the “now“ eternal as the temple takes viewers on a contemplative journey through the external world and their inner selves.
Belgian artist Arne Quinze’s project, “The Gateway of Light,“ offers an alternative perspective on the Pyramids of Giza. Through his artwork, he explores the dynamics between the power of nature and its fragility. Quinze emphasizes the ancient and rich Egyptian culture where the sun has always played a crucial role. His piece presents the sun as the fundamental element for all forms of life, within a sculpted circular frame. He aims to convey the harmonious and swiftly changing nature of the environment through his art. Quinze intends to immerse viewers in the beauty and wild diversity of nature through his work.
Although artist Arthur Lescher had to apologize for his absence due to personal reasons, he expressed his happiness about creating his artwork “The Observatory“ to be exhibited on the Giza plateau. He mentioned that his current research is deeply focused on the relationship between humans and their place in the universe, and the pyramids have always been a prominent reflection of this connection for thousands of years. Producing this artwork in Egypt today, in the context of the pyramids, is akin to reframing a question that was initially posed when the first stone was laid. It reflects the human scale in a new context, using the inner part of the pyramids as a benchmark.
From Argentina to the UAE, the visual artist Azza Al Qubaisi is sharing her work titled “Treasures.“ She expressed that this work represents a journey for her, capturing the secrets, shapes, and patterns of desert landscapes, along with cultural memories, stories, and ornaments from the past. Her artwork utilizes materials reflecting the surrounding nature with earthy colors inspired by the deep roots of their heritage. It allows viewers to immerse themselves in an experience walking between the art piece and the sand dunes as they approach the pyramid, watching their reflections as if it’s an inner journey through their personal lives. The hidden treasure in the earth symbolizes the concealed personal goals within us.
From the United States, the visual artist Carol Feuerman contributed with her project “Egyptian Woman in the Form of the Goddess Hathor.“ She says, “I specifically created this piece for the third edition of ‘Forever Is Now’ due to my deep passion for the concept it embodies. This artwork represents my personal interpretation of Hathor, where she is depicted as a contemporary woman embodying the essence of the goddess. While the similarities between my sculptures and the goddess may not be immediately evident, the resonance I feel with Hathor is strong. My artistic talent lies in presenting realistic sculptures of women celebrating their natural beauty and opulence, and in these sculptures, I strive diligently to represent the fluidity that reminds us of water, just as Hathor is also associated with water, fertility, love, beauty, music, joy, and motherhood. I sought to honor Hathor through this sculpture. “
The Greek artist Costas Varotsos is also participating with his project “Horizon,“ which focuses on the relationship between the Nile River and the Giza Plateau, emphasizing its significance for the world. He says, “This new horizon is defined through eight circles in which the world revolves. The celestial dome and the cycle of life expressed through the geometric shape of the circle are concepts related to the engineering of the pyramids and their history. The importance of the artistic work is to establish a connection between all the natural elements of the surrounding area. For me, the horizon has always been a prediction of the future, towards something coming, defining the concept of the horizon in space, but at the same time determining the position toward life.“
“Reflection in Light“ is the name of the project that Greek artist Dionysios is participating in which employs artificial intelligence. He believes that the exhibition at the Pyramids is a profound experience far beyond merely achieving artistic or professional recognition. He says, “Seeing a part of myself in front of the Pyramids and allowing everyone to see themselves through my work is an emotional experience that leads to a transformation in life. The history meets the future, and I am already present during that moment. My goal is to create a space and conditions that enable people to communicate with universal values, and the Giza Plateau is one of the most energetic places I have ever visited.”
The Bahraini artist Rashid Al Khalifa states, “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be part of the third edition of ‘Forever Is Now’ with my artistic project ‘Timeless Reality,’ inspired by the greatness of Egypt. The possibility to present this project near one of the ancient wonders of the world, alongside these outstanding artists, is already a dream come true, making me feel deeply appreciative, and I only hope that one feels as if they are in a ‘timeless’ moment when viewing and interacting with the project, where the past, present, and future come together. “
Argentinian artist Pilar Zeta introduced her artistic project “Mirror Gate,“ stating that it was inspired by her fascination with Egyptian culture and the ancient mysticism in Egypt. She considers this gate to be significant, serving as a multidimensional portal connecting past and present, blending natural and artificial materials from the post-industrial era. She invites viewers to reflect upon their infinite potential when they see their reflections inside the pyramids, drawing connections to the limitless possibilities found in Egyptian mythology.
Saudi artist Rashed Al Shashai states, “The art project I present, prepared specifically for the site, represents a dance between the past and the present, blurring the lines between traditional and modern, and renewing our perceptions of art, heritage, science, and sustainable practices. Titled ‘The Transparent Pyramid’ and using the material of palm fronds, an ancient craft from Egypt, to pay tribute to the history of the pyramids, while providing a contemporary interpretation of their impact on our development processes in our region, and affirming the value of preserving traditional methods alongside innovation and creativity. The project aims to encourage the audience to think about the potential for sustainable practices in contemporary art and design, and it contemplates the human aspect of heritage and the dedication that has always carried it. It serves as a deliberate tribute to the eternal legacy of traditional craftsmanship and the importance of sustainable practices.“
The Dutch artist Sabine Marcelis is contributing to the art project with her piece “Ra.“ She expresses her enthusiasm and honor for presenting her work in such a distinguished location. She mentioned that her art installation is inspired by the sun, and this site holds special meaning for her, especially being the birthplace of the sundial. She creates an artwork that not only represents a sundial but also harnesses the power of the sun, transforming it into energy. This reflects her deep respect for ancient Egyptian culture and their reverence for the sun god Ra.
(31.10.2023, USA: 10.31.2023)