Basim Magdy seeks different possible futures in works that reconstruct “past visions of the future that is now our present – the future that never arrived.”
His works on paper are immensely inventive and disconcertingly fanciful, produced with combinations of watercolour, spraypaint, gouache, acrylic, coloured pencils and collage. Brilliant colours belie the darker titles, such as A Monument for our Short-Sighted Heroes, An Eavesdropper Lurks in the Shadows of Your Every Thought, or They Endorsed Collective Failure as the Dawn of a New Renaissance. Surely, there are stories hidden here.
Magdy works in extended series and multiple media, including an ongoing project of captioned photographs titled Every Subtle Gesture. Here, photos are chosen from an ongoing personal archive, with captions giving unexpected but logical interpretations to images. Tiny details refer to philosophical issues or such concepts as time, existence and death.
He is fascinated by the future and how it might affect the present – but also how much the future might replicate the present. He is a magician, in short, in the lineage of Georges Méliès (1861-1938) and his famous Le voyage dans la lune / Voyage to the Moon of 1902.