Nader Sadek

studied graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has presented the solo shows Paradox Complex, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo (2005) and Celestial Victor, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo (2003), and also the performance B'doun O'mr, Santos Sessions, New York (2009) and Sculpture Center, New York (2009). He has participated in group exhibitions such as: Exhume-Consume, New Art Center, Massachusetts (2011) / Exhume-Consume, Hosfelt Gallery, New York (2010) / Rapture, La Générale, Paris (2010) / Worry in the House of thieves, Espace Karim Francis, Cairo (2007) / The Faceless, Michael Steinberg Fine Art, New York (2007) / Worry in the House of thieves, Scope Hamptons (2007) / Convergence, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo (2007). The general theme that occupies his work is man’s obsession with power. He often uses a duality of a certain situation to express his ideas. It is his belief that (his) art functions in a similar way to humor: a reflection of reality with an absurd exaggeration that exposes (a) truth. 

 

 

Nader Sadek’s sculpture-and-performance piece Baptism in Black staged a satanic ritual that desecrates the artist’s uniquely fabricated bust of Hosni Mubarak. Performed at Thessaloniki’s politically charged White Tower, Sadek’s piece channeled and connected the unrest fuelling Arab revolutions and Eurozone crises. Accompanied by Thessaloniki death metal outfit Genna Apo Kolo (Anal Birth) and a chorus of thirty local metal fans, Sadek carried out a black mass over a monochromatic white bust of Mubarak fabricated out of one of Sadek’s signature, petroleum-based compounds. The ritual crescended with the artist drowning the bust in another one of these signature compounds, this time a shiny, onyx-colored, viscous liquid.

Baptism in Black links the Egyptian government’s persecution of heavy metal music and culture to the 2011 uprising that overthrew Mubarak’s thirty-year dictatorship. The satanic allusions recall the 1996 mass arrest of heavy metal music fans in Egypt, which the state justified on the grounds that heavy metal fans are Satan worshippers. From amongst the arrested and tortured fans arose two activists who had a prominent role in the build-up to and unfolding of the Egyptian revolution of February 2011, intensifying the activities of human rights and civil society organizations both on the ground and in social media. Playing on the paranoid fantasies of the Egyptian government, then, Sadek's piece in turn fantasizes how satanic rites led to the eventual downfall of the Egyptian president. Baptism in Black initiates Mubarak into banishment.

The final product of this performance-event consist of the "drowned Mubarak bust;" an experimental audio collage of Thessaloniki metal fans growling in the streets, aurally signaling their contestatory occupation of public space; along with the serialized Facebook pages, which incrementally drew the local community of chorus and congregation into the piece, a process that references the role of social media in the Egyptian revolution itself.

Photos

Baptism in Black, performance, 30 September, White Tower
Baptism in Black, performance, 30 September, White Tower
Baptism in Black, performance, 30 September, White Tower
Baptism in Black, installation with sound, 2011, courtesy of the artist, commisioned by the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
Baptism in Black, installation with sound, 2011, courtesy of the artist, commisioned by the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
Baptism in Black, installation with sound, 2011, courtesy of the artist, commisioned by the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011 Biennale de Lyon