Esraa Elfeky

Egyptian multi-disciplinary artist (born in 1989, Cairo).
She lives and works in Cairo.

Artist’s statement
When I was ten years old, my family took a vacation to Arish, a city in North Sinai. My cousin and I were sent to buy snacks just up the road from where we stayed. Finding the shop closed, we decided to keep on. The road changed and offered us new challenges, though none of them fulfilled our original goal. Despite her anxiety and skepticism, I kept convincing my cousin to wander further away. No longer in pursuit of snacks, I was drawn to this foreign place, attracted by every detail of the landscape. Eventually, we came upon a place where a number of soldiers were gathered. They told us to turn back. Otherwise, I’m not sure when I would have returned.
This story of exploration, with its departures, digressions, and detours, is a metaphor for my artistic practice. Out of curiosity, I observe and question everything to develop a recursive relationship to my subject. Research and experimentation take me to the next step: to know and understand more.
My works express connections that I create between objects and concepts. I work with a variety of mediums including video, sculpture, found objects, drawing, and textiles to test and find the best way of giving my ideas a form.
Over the past years, my art has been tackling the obsession with power and the ways in which people with this obsession have repeatedly changed, redrawn, and transformed whole countries, all my previous projects discuss the complete transformation of a community by the use of different forms of mind control exercised by those in power which stripped the people of the freedom to express theirs, as we have grown impatient with the contemporary society, Afterwards, I decided to create a world that helping me to unleash my power and encourage me to explore and deconstruct, to sneak into the future through fictional narratives this made me addicted to the power of landscape and how it occupies the mind, body, and emotions as since many years ago I used to go on trips in the desert which last several days, walking for hundreds of kilometers between valleys and mountains. This kind of journeys made me comes in contact with a special community living in remote places. and Through narrative and experience, field research, storytelling, and relying on the surrounding environment as a source of knowledge; My research explores links between art-making, physical and psychological experience in being in landscape on the personal aspect and on the societal aspect to explore possibilities for marginalized communities and co-existence. to express value, social, and political definitions and balance of power.

2021-Present BEYOND THE “NEW-NORM” online program masterclass in filmmaking and media arts, organized by Arab Media Lab, Morocco.
2018/19 MASS Alexandria independent study program for contemporary arts, Alexandria, Egypt.
2018 Roznama Studio Program, Organized by Medrar for contemporary art in collaboration with D-CAF.
2011 Bachelor of Arts with high honors, Faculty of Art Education, Helwan University, Cairo.

Group Exhibitions
Online exhibition curated by Davood Madadpoor, Sumac Space. (Upcoming)
Group exhibition curated by Mohamed Dessoki, Institut français d’Egypte à Alexandrie, Egypt. (Upcoming)
Roznama 8 exhibition curated by Narimane Abou Elseoud, CIC, Cairo, Egypt.
Egypt international art fair, Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo, presented by Medrar for contemporary art.
Film Screening in Papatunga gallery for contemporary art, curated by James Tapsell-Kururangi Auckland, New Zealand.
“Quarantined” virtual exhibition organized by Lila Arman and Yosra El-Mallah, supported by Goethe – Institut Alexandria, Egypt.
End of year MASS exhibition curated by Wael Shawky and Berit Schuck, Alexandria, Egypt.
The 12th edition of the Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography with the participation of a group project from MASS students, curated by Aziza Harmel, Bamako, Mali.
No ISBN, installation by Bernhard Cella, part of the exhibition “How to Maneuver: Shape-Shifting Texts and Other Publishing Tactics” curated by Kayfa Ta (Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis), Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The 29th letter of the Alphabet exhibition organized by Art D’Égypte, Tamara building, Cairo, Egypt .
No ISBN, installation by Bernhard Cella, part of the exhibition “How to Reappear: Through the Quivering Leaves of Independent Publishing” curated by Kayfa Ta (Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis), Beirut Art Centre, Beirut, Lebanon.
Roznama 7 exhibition, Townhouse gallery, Cairo, Egypt.
Cairo art fair, Art smart gallery, Cairo, Egypt.
Roznama open studio, closing event, studio program with D-CAF, Cairo, Egypt.
Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm, Sweden
The 27th Youth Salon, Palace of Arts at Cairo’s Opera House, Egypt
Roznama 5 Competition, Mashrabia Gallery, Egypt
Shifting borders, Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Poland
The 25th Youth Salon, Palace of Arts at Cairo Opera House, Egypt
The 25th Youth Salon, Palace of Arts at Cairo Opera House, Egypt
Mohamed Abla Painting Award, Cairo Opera House, Egypt
The 23rd Youth Salon, Palace of Arts at Cairo Opera House, Egypt
Bearing Witness, Medrar for Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt
The Solous Irish / Arabian Avant-Garde film, Mermaid Arts Centre, Ireland
Pick 4, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt.

Awards/Grants/Artist in residences
Warehouse421 Project Revival Fund, UAE.
Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, received grant to attend course for “Randa Mirza and Lara Tabet”.
“Al Fostat art residency for one month for artists” Cairo, Egypt organized by Al Nafeza for contemporary art by artist Mohamed Abouelnaga.
The Lab at Darat Al Funun, Amman, Jordan. (postponed)
The 25th Youth Salon Prize for Installation Art, Cairo’s Opera House
Artist Residency in Poland, The Centre for Creative Activities in Ustka
The Egyptian Ministry of Culture’s Travel Grant
North and South Grant and Residency, Bibliotheca Alexandrina.