Pi Artworks London is pleased to announce Susan Hefuna's third solo exhibition with the gallery and her first at our London venue. Cairotraces features a new series of her highly regarded works on paper as well as a newly commissioned palm wood installation.
At the core of Hefuna's practice is her fascination with the networks and structures of connection that inhabit public spaces and become the framework for peoples' interactions with each other. She is particularly interested in how these networks become visible through and influenced by architectural models and city planning. For Hefuna, these public spaces, particularly urban centres, are the intersection of politics, architecture, and history and they shape the formation of different social identities. This interest stems from the artists' duel German - Egyptian heritage, which has allowed her to observe the towns and cities of two cultures that are simultaneously foreign and familiar to her as well as her nomadic existence as an artist who immerses herself in the life of the various countries she works and exhibits in.
Since the late 90's, Hefuna has mimicked the visual traits of the mashrabiya screens of Cairo to visualise her anthropological inquiry into public spaces. Mashrabiyas are traditional latticework screens built out of interconnected knobs and rods that form unbroken, crosshatch patterns; they beautify buildings while protecting the inhabitants from harsh sunlight. For the artist, these screens reflect many of the key issues that affect the interactions she observes on a day-to-day basis: the delineation between private and public space, veiling, and voyeurism. The mashrabiya's interconnected dot and line motifs, often interwoven with words or phrases, are a template with which she can reify the intangible networks and structures of connection that inhabit public spaces and become the framework for peoples' interactions.