East Contemporary

Jiri Svestka Gallery: Omar El Sadek

Prague, 14 May – 19 June 2021, https://www.jirisvestkagallery.com

An exhibition of a young artist based in Prague. The paintings and drawings were raw and had an air of art brut. Also the installation was a bit haphazard. Then there were small ceramic sculptures, that looked like the results of a teenager attending a ceramics workshop. A video projection consisted of an animated drawing – that means a scanned drawing on a scroll moving left to right, kind of animation class 101 homework. The video was out of focus (I corrected that) and with a windows bar at the bottom (couldn’t do anything about it because I was afraid the fragile setup would collapse). Seems like the gallery assistant used the projector to watching a movie last night and did not bother to readjust it upon returning. All of this was somehow paired with an electronic music soundtrack (kind of ambient-noisy) that emanated from below a plinth displaying the ceramic sculptures. Sound was highlighted in the press release as another important creative outlet of El Sadek. Given the rough and messy nature of the installation, I would expect some kind of garage noise rock, and not electronic music.

The exhibits checked all the boxes for a sell-able art product (at the right price) – small to medium size, a consistent naive style, easy to mount and store.

Overall, it felt a bit like an open studio day at an art school. I just missed a sofa and an empty case of beers in a corner of the room.

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