January 15, 2018 - Künstlerhaus Bethanien - Ahmed Ghoneimy
January 15, 2018

Künstlerhaus Bethanien / KfW Stiftung

Courtesy of the artist.

Ahmed Ghoneimy
January 19–February 11, 2018

Künstlerhaus Bethanien
Kottbusser Strasse 10
10999 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 2–7pm


Opening: January 18, 2018, 7pm

The work of filmmaker Ahmed Ghoneimy engages with the multifarious forms of human interaction and the resultant dependencies and tension and is set against the backdrop of Egypt’s firmly established, traditional patriarchy. In his films, Ghoneimy examines the specific power structures and idiosyncratic, daily rituals which are adhered to by people when they meet—fathers and sons, friends and enemies, the so-called winners and losers of society. He often uses scenes drawn from his own memories and re-enacts them with the help of amateur actors, aggressors (Bahari, 2011) and friends (The Cave, 2013). His films take no heed of a narrative arc culminating in a dramatic climax, but rather follow associations alternating between fiction and documentary.

Ghoneimy’s presentation at Künstlerhaus Bethanien includes video loops, each projected on a screen. In quiet, haunting images, the films put the spotlight on the trusting relationship between a boy and his father and are shot in a documentary style. On a joint outing, the son is playfully introduced to the rituals and behaviors which form part of male-dominated everyday life in the public domain: swimming in the surf, strolling across the fish market, bargaining and joking with the salesmen, etc. Sequences taken from so-called open-world computer games provide a sharp contrast with the kid exploring the spaces. He shifts from amusement and the feeling of security, till at moments this comfort is disrupted: in everyday life, violence, hatred and injury are just as present in human interactions as safety and happiness. The exhibition at Künstlerhaus Bethanien was conceived by Ahmed Ghoneimy as a project which is developing further using other forms of presentation.

A catalogue of the exhibition is available: edited by Nicola Müllerschön and Christoph Tannert, Ahmed Ghoneimy includes an essay by Haytham El-Wardany. Published by Verlag Kettler (Dortmund), 2018.

Ahmed Ghoneimy, born 1986 in Alexandria, Egypt, lives and works in Alexandria. His work has been shown at international film festivals and exhibitions, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, FID Marseille, and the International Short Film Festival Hamburg, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Home Works 6, Beirut, and Photo Cairo 5, Cairo.

Ahmed Ghoneimy currently holds a grant of KfW Stiftung and is taking part in the International Studio Program at Künstlerhaus Bethanien; he will be concluding his residency by showcasing his current project.

Promoting cultural diversity is one of the primary goals of KfW Stiftung. Together with the art center Künstlerhaus Bethanien, it has set up an artist-in-residence program that seeks to stimulate intercultural dialogue by providing up-and-coming artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East with the opportunity to spend 12 months in Berlin. Encouraging artistic production and critical reflection, the program also facilitates encounters between professionals working in arts and culture. The infrastructure and the international environment of Künstlerhaus Bethanien offer a suitable setting, allowing participants to try out new ideas, engage in debates, and carry out projects.

For more information, please contact
Nicola Müllerschoen, Arts and Culture, KfW Stiftung, Frankfurt: nicola.muellerschoen [​at​] kfw-stiftung.de
Valeria Schulte-Fischedick, International Studio Programme, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin: schultef [​at​] bethanien.de 

Künstlerhaus Bethanien
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