The word ‘legend’ has been irritatingly appropriated of late. Make someone a cup of tea? You’re a legend. Mrs Doubtfire? Legendary. Make that noise where it sounds like a fart coming out of your armpit? Yup, in today’s (mostly teenage) vernacular, you’re a legend.
However, the concept of legends has been rightfully restored in the new show from Adham Faramawy.
In his exhibition Legend II that opened yesterday at Shoreditch’s Aubin Gallery, the young artist uses sculpture, screenprints and digital video to explore the oral traditions of Ancient Greece and Egypt and their place in today’s aesthetics.
In doing so, Faramawy looks to challenge the very concept of linear narratives, exposing the concept of storytelling as a patchwork if Chinese whispers, highly individual interpretations and geographical specifics.
In other words; the meanings of each legend could be one mans’ moral fibre; another mans’ moral poison.
‘My mode of image making is resolutely representational. I express ideas concerning transmissions of knowledge demonstrating fluid identities’, says Faramawy.
‘Folk stories and early religious mythology are the basis of visual allegory delineating the burden of aesthetic lineage.’
Blimey. Well, the work is certainly stunning: ‘Bondage’ is an arresting sculpture; while the photographic works use reflective surfaces to mesmerising effect.
These 2D works and sculptures are displayed alongside Faramawy’s video pieces, creating a body of work that opens up a discussion on, among other things, the nature of storytelling itself.
Artist and Aubin Gallery co-founder and curator, Stuart Semple, says, ‘Adham Faramawy is an artist I’ve admired for a very long time. He’s by far one of the best young talents around so we are very honoured to have him.’
He adds, ‘In line with the new economy that we find ourselves in and this amazing talent that we have around us it’s hard for the big galleries of the last decade to take a risk with newer artists because their own stables have been hit so badly.’
‘The idea [of the Aubin Gallery] is to make a viable platform for that to flourish and to really support creative vision.’
Legend II runs until 24 February at The Aubin Gallery , 64-66 Redchurch Street , Shoreditch, London E2