14 September – 15 October 2011

Iman Issa
Material

Rodeo
 is
 very
 happy 
to 
present 
the 
first 
solo 
show
 in
 the 
gallery 
of 
Iman
 Issa
 (b.1979,
 Cairo), 
titled
 Material.

Material 
consists
 of 
a 
series 
of
 six 
small 
installations
 in 
different 
forms,
 each
 presented
 as 
a 
potential 
alternative 
structure 
to 
an
existing 
monument
 or
 memorial.
 The
 particular
 monuments 
the 
artist 
is 
looking 
at 
are 
all
 ones 
that
 are
 personally 
significant
 to 
her 
and 
are
 these 
monuments
 and
 memorials 
that
 commemorate 
figures,
 events,
 and
 places 
she 
grew 
up 
with 
or
 have
played
 an
 important 
part 
in 
shaping
 her 
very 
conception
 of 
a 
personal
 history.

The 
project 
proceeds 
from 
an
 interest
 in
 the
commemorative 
language 
used 
by
 monuments 
and
 memorials 
in 
general,
 “a 
language
which
 I
 thought 
was 
quite
 limited 
before
 but 
now
 am 
starting 
to 
look 
more 
carefully 
at 
its 
capacity 
for
 recalling 
its 
subjects” 
Issa 
notes. 
The
 artist
 is 
particularly
 interested
in 
the
 symbolic
 quality 
and
 abstracting 
tendencies 
that 
are 
typically 
associated 
with
 such 
structures.

The
 project 
also
constitutes
 an 
attempt
 to
 find
 forms 
that 
better
 express 
the
 personal
 significance 
of
 the
 figures, 
events,
 and 
places
represented. 
So 
in 
a 
way, 
it
 is
 a
 project
 both
 influenced 
by 
a
 renewed
 belief 
in 
the 
symbolic 
language 
of
 commemoration 
as
well 
as 
a 
feeling 
that 
the
 existing 
monuments 
in
 this 
case
 have
 failed 
in
 capturing
 something 
specific
 or 
significant
 about
 their
 subjects
 and 
thus
 the 
need
 to 
present 
alternative 
forms.

The
 original 
monuments 
are
 not 
mentioned 
by 
name 
in 
the
work,
 rather
 each
 installation 
is
 accompanied 
by
 a 
vinyl 
text 
on
 the
 wall 
that
 describes 
an 
aspect
 of
 these
 monuments 
in
mostly 
general
 terms.
Examples
 of
 the 
text 
include:
 Material
  for 
a 
sculpture
 commemorating 
a 
blind
 man 
who 
became
 a
great
 writer,
 or
 Material 
for 
a 
sculpture 
proposed
 as
 an 
alternative
 to 
a
 monument 
that
 has
 become an 
embarrassment
 to
its
 people,
 or 
Material
 for
 a 
sculpture
 commemorating 
the
 victory
 of
 what
 initially 
appeared
 to
 be 
an
 inferior
 army,
…etc.