Magdi Mostafa: Wisdom Tower: from the series Sound Cells (Fridays)
009_00 / 22 June 2015
Wisdom Tower: from the series Sound Cells (Fridays), 2009–2012
84 x 5 watt speakers, cables, audio amp, and monitor
Duration: 20 mins
Courtesy the artist
Magdi Mostafa is a Cairo-based artist who works primarily with site-specific, research-driven sound projects and multimedia installations.
Played from 84 voice-range speakers set into a standing panel, Wisdom Tower features the sound of the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, and a Friday sermon, both recorded in the Ardellewa neighbourhood in Cairo. The subject of this sermon is – unusually for an Islamic sermon of this context – gender, biology and reproduction.
Wisdom Tower's standing panel is inspired by the vertical partitions used to divide male and female prayers in many mosques. A central concern in Mostafa's work is the conceptual relationship between sound and architecture. In Egypt, the adhan reaches into all corners of public and domestic architecture, bringing people together in a communal act of worship.
Magdi Mostafa (b. 1982) lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. Primarily exploring the conceptual relationships between sound and space, Mostafa's work often draws on his interests in the phenomenological experience of the individual in the city, and recalling unexpected-outmoded technologies.
Recent exhibitions include the Sharjah Biennale 11, Jogjakarta Biennale XII, Surface of spectral scattering solo at Townhouse Gallery Cairo, Egypt; Sound Element at Mathaf, Qatar; and Elements of the unexpected at Art Dubai, UAE.