Illustrated History of the Mundane: Military Industrial Complex The Stockholm works Khaled Hafez 2022 “During lockdowns and confinement, cement cities and dark cities become integral to an alien planet”. Khaled...
Illustrated History of the Mundane: Military Industrial Complex
The Stockholm works
“During lockdowns and confinement, cement cities and dark cities become integral to an alien planet”. Khaled Hafez
Illustrated History of the Mundane is a long term project of several “chapters”.
The initial idea started –and later evolved– with the lockdown of 2020, and sustained for around 2 years in Cairo, where I am currently based. The initial project started with mobile phone photography, and collage surfaces of recycled fast food cardboard, 30 x 30 cm mixed media works, executed over 18 months, some parts of which have been exhibited in two site specific installation in 2022.
The works were created with numerous types of packaging paper and cardboard, treated in gel mediums for archival longevity, mainly depending on the paper textures and color. The only tool was the scissors. The visual outcome may seem entirely different from my large museum-scale colorful paintings (750 x 200 cm, 800 x 150 cm), though elements from my painting practice are resonating on the recycled paper and cardboard works.
The target number of surfaces, 90 pieces were intended and never achieved. After 63 works were made, the project developed into “mummification” of every possible unused studio objects and clutter; the sculptural results –pieces mummified in linen, and placed on a display table cabinet– of the same conceptual framework is the three-dimensional manifestation of the connotation of future archaeology: what would 4000-year future generations find while excavating our spatial and temporal spheres?
The military iconography used on the cardboard works emulates our contemporary hieroglyphs, the language of subjugation, wealth, power, and invasion; the entire project's choice of material represents the “collective global state of the art", pun intended.