Wael Shawky, 2016
Ausstellungsansicht EG, Kunsthaus Bregenz
Foto: Markus Tretter
Courtesy of Wael Shawky
© Wael Shawky/Kunsthaus Bregenz

Wael Shawky (born in Alexandria 1971) studied fine art at the University of Alexandria before receiving his MFA from the University of Pennsilvania in 2000. Using a variety of medias as a film, drawing, photography, and performance, Wael Shawky investigates and analyzes the Real and imaginary histories and narratives of the Arab world. His multi-latered reconstructions and retellings force viewers to engage in questions of truth, myth, and stereotypes. The artist sees himself as a translator of instances of civilizational transition into form.


Born in Alexandria, Egypt

BFA: Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University, Egypt 

MFA: Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, USA  


Selected solo Exhibitions


Wael Shawky, Galerie Sfeir-Semler Hamburg

Wael Shawky, Castello Di Rivoli, Museum D'Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy,
Wael Shawky, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria

Wael Shawky. Al Araba Al Madfuna, Fondazione Merz, Turin, Italy

Crusades & Other Stories , Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
Wael Shawky, PS1, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Wael Shawky. Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala , Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Wael Shawky - Cabaret Crusades: The Path To Cairo , MACBA, Barcelona, Spain

Cabaret Crusades, The Secrets of Karbala , Art Collection NRW, K20, Dusseldorf, Germany, Movie World Premiere
Al Araba El Madfuna 2 , Vienna Festival, Vienna, Austria
Wael Shawky: Horsemen Adore Perfumes and Other Stories , Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
dictum , Lisson Gallery, London, UK

Wael Shawky , Serpentine Gallery, London, UK
Video Zone: Wael Shawky Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File , Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany
Wael Shawky , The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA
Wael Shawky , Art Gallery of York University , Toronto, Canada

Wael Shawky. Al Araba El Madfuna , Kunst-Werke, Berlin, Germany

Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England Larvae Channel series , The Delfina Foundation, London, UK Kunst-Werke Berlin, Germany.  Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England
Drawings and Flags from Cabaret Crusades , Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

Contemporary Myths , Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy  

Larvae Channel 2 , Project Gentili, Berlin, Germany
Clean History , The Townhouse Gallery for Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt
Wael Shawky, Darat al Funun , Amman, Jordan 

Al Aqsa Park , Factory Space, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt 

Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland
Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Galeria Sztuki Wspolczesnej, Bunkier Sztukim, Krakow, Poland
Video shown at YAMA. View of the Marmara Sea, Istanbul, Turkey

Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt 

Factory Space , Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt
Ludwigsburg Kunstverein, Ludwigsburg, Germany  

Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary art, Cairo, Egypt 

Performance at Main Space, Cairo, Egypt  

Gemmayzeh, Beirut, Lebanon 


Selected Group Exhibitions / Screenings


The Song of Roland: The Arabic Version, Kampnagel, Hamburg
Imaginary Asia, Nam June Paik Center, Korea
Punte Brillanti Di Lance Festival, Fondazione Merz, Turin, Italy MOMENTUM - The Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art

The Time is Out of Joint , Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Bruxelles, Belgium

Gallery 3010 , Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
14th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey
Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, Korea
Cinema of Art, Munich, Germany
Une brève histoire de l'avenir , Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Manifesta 10 , St. Petersburg, Russia
You Imagine What You Desire , 19th Sydney Biennial, Australia PhotoFest
2014, Contemporary Arab Video, Photography and Mixed Media, Houston, USA
Now Babylon - architecture, culture and identity , Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlbæk , Denmark
The Anthropology Effect , MAP, Glasgow, UK (screening)

A History of Inspiration , Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
In the Heart of the Country. The Collection of Modern Art in Warsaw , Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland
DREAMS OF REASON. Highlights of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection , Centre of Contemporary Art, Torun, Poland
Re: emerge , Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE
moment - Frontlines , Moderna Museet Stockholm, Stokholm, Sweden
LES CHOSES DE COTE DU MONDE , Musée des civilizations de l ' Europe et de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France

Mirages d'Orient, Grenades et Figures de Barbaries, Chassès-Croiès en Méditeranée, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France

9th Gwangju Biennial South Corea
dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany
Bucharest Biennial 5, Bucharest, Romania
Marrakech Biennial 2012, Marrakech, Morocco

12th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey
Serious Games War, Media Art , Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Germany 

Wael Shawky Comtemporary Myths II / Mounira Al Solh 17  , Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
In and out of context , New Museum, New York, USA
5th Forum Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Medium Religion , The Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada
Festival BOM Ganesa Production , Arko Museum, Seoul, South Korea

25th Alexandria Biennial, Egyptian pavilion, Fine Arts Museum, Alexandria, Egypt
3rd Marrakesh Biennial, Film Discussion: Desert Maneuvers, Wael Shawky in conversation with Stuart.
Disorientation II , Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi (curated by Jack Persekian)
The columns held us up. Artists Space , New York, United States, collaboration with Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, (curated by Vasif Kortun and November Paynter)

Medium Religion , ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany
Lucky Number Seven , Santa Fe Biennale, Santa Fe, Santa Fe, USA
F & A Projects. Paris (curated by Daniela da Prato) SCENES DU SUD II - Méditerranée Orientale , Carré d'Art - Musée d'art contemporain de Nîmes, Place de la Maison Carrée, France

Contemporary Art Platform, London, UK
Video Screening, Tate Modern, London, UK
Out of Place , Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Moscow Biennial, Moscow 

Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
No Man's Land (Part II) , Hellenic American Union, Athens, Greece
Choosing my Religion , Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland
Studio Trisorio, Napoli, Italy
47th October Art Salon Belgrade, Serbia
Nikolaj , Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark, The Netherlands
6th Visual Arts Festival, Kodra Field, Thessaloniki, Greece
Video installation mounted in Cinema Marignan, Hamra, Beirut
Gb Agency, Paris, France
Artist's Project in Hamburg, Große Bergstraße, Hamburg, Germany  

9th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
ADAM , SmartProjectSpace, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Urban Realities , Focus Istanbul, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
Grant of Contemporary Art, Istanbul , Turkey
Photo Cairo 3 , Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt 

The Museum of Modern Art Rome (MACRO), Italy
Makan House, Amman, Jordan
Center Culturel Francais de Damas, Damascus, Syria  

Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, Aubervilliers, France
24/7 Vilnius , CAC museum, Vilnius, Lithuania
50th La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Body and the Archive , Artists Space, New York, USA
International Video Invitational , Fa project, London, UK
International Experimental Film Festival , Goethe Institute, Alexandria / Cairo, Egypt  

Close up , Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt  

Rita Longa International Art Symposium , Codema, Bayamo, Cuba
2nd Al Nitaq Festival of Visual Arts , Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt

Meyrson Hall Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
1st Al Nitaq Festival of Visual Arts , Talaat Harb Square, Cairo, Egypt

Contemporary Egyptian Art , Kunst Historischan Museum, Vienna  

6th International Cairo Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, Cairo, Egypt  

Al-Hanagar Gallery, Opera House Complex, Cairo, Egypt  

Al-Hanagar Gallery, Opera House Complex, Cairo, Egypt  


Prizes / Awards / Grants


Winner of the First Edition Mario Merz Prize

Sharjah Biennial Award for the exceptional contribution
Award for the Filmic Oevre donated by Luis Vuitton and Cinema of Art

Abraaj Capital Art Prize, joint winner

Art Prize of the Ernst Schering Foundation

Grand Prize, 25th Alexandria Biennial, Alexandria

Ford Foundation Grant, Cairo

Ford Foundation Grant, Cairo

International Commissioning Grant, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York

The International Award of The Islamic World Arts Initiative, Arts International, New York
The American Center Foundation Grant, Philadelphia

Honorary Award, Rita Longa International Symposium, Codema, Bayamo, Cuba

Piero Dozairo Award, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Merit Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Edna C. and Monroe Gutman Annual Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Grand Nile Prize, 6th International Cairo Biennial, Cairo

Grand Akhnaton Prize, 6th Salon of Youth, Akhnaton Art Center, Cairo, Egypt


Works in public collections:


Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art collections North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, Macro Museum, Rome; Darat Al Funun, Amman; Mart Museum Collection, Terento; Mudam, Luxembourg Museum of Modern Art, Luxembourg; Galeria Sztuki Wspolczesnej, Bunkier Sztukim, Krakow; APT Dubai.