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In a furnished flat in Cairo is a project that brought together 7 artists to share a furnished flat for one month in January 2004. The transient nature of the artists’ interventions in the space questioned the preconceived ideas of the “home” as a provider of of security and a definer of identity. The space became a platform for the deconstruction of familial structures, domestic behaviours and the mechanisms through which one’s surroundings work to reinforce identity and social status. An exhibition followed the work period where the space was open to the public in February 2004. The project was sponsored by the Arts Council of Switzerland and curated by Hala Elkoussy.

The Album – Family History Revisited (2004) (Hala Elkoussy’s contribution to in a furnished flat in Cairo ) presents a complete set of family photographs displayed in regular household frames in the places one would expect to find them in a domestic space. Except, the collection of these images is the photographic history of a family that does not exist as such in a space they do not inhabit, the very nature of a furnished flat preventing its long-term association with any one family. These frozen moments of choice question familial structures and socially enforced gender roles as well as the role of family photography plays as proof of the family’s cohesiveness as a unit, the economical standing of its members and their subscription to acceptable social norms. The Album – Family History Revisited (2004) also carries within its folds a questioning of photography as a reinforcer of reality.

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