Oum El Dounia is part of the Paper Trail downtown

A nice and funny trail through downtown streets to follow up with kids. Start your discovery at CIC, grab a page of cartoon that will take you to second step Oum El Dounia (where you’ll get page 2 of the cartoon). Several steps later, you will have in your hands the complete cartoon and finish your trail in Soul el Ezbekkya.

Francesc Ruiz: The Paper Trail – Solo exhibition – Preview: 17th October – Exhibition: 18th October-20th November 2010 – Opening hours: 10-6, Tues-Sat or by appointment

Francesc Ruiz presents two new works in CIC’s gallery and directly in Cairo’s streets. His practice intersects fictional narratives with the real urban structures and social settings they refer to. Much of his work starts from the possibilities of the comic book, and in the past he has contrasted the grid structures of comics with the cross-section of a building or the boundaries on a map. His fascination with comic books stems from their capacity for illicit circulation; their role in social commentary; their supposedly lowbrow status; and the possibilities of combining narrative with the visual.

In April and May 2010 Ruiz spent two months in Cairo on residency at CIC, researching the history of comic books here. For his exhibition he has produced two new works: The Green Detour and Newsstand.

The Green Detour features characters familiar from across comic book history – Samir, the happy Egyptian kid; the Crushed Citizen, a downtrodden character from Flash!; Tintin, the self-assured European colonial; and Donald Duck, bringing an Americanised view of comics. Across 10 issues, these characters explore present-day Cairo. The first issue can be picked up at CIC, and readers must follow the characters on their fictional wanderings across Downtown Cairo in order to find the distribution point of the next issue. In this way we are taken on a real-life tour of the city along with the characters themselves.

How we disseminate stories and gossip is an ongoing fascination to Ruiz, and points of distribution in themselves can almost be taken as a mouthpiece for a city at any given moment. In a new work made for CIC’s exhibition space, Ruiz has recreated a Cairo newsstand in its entirety, including the front pages of all its publications. The stones holding down the papers, however, seem to have views of their own…

 Ruiz was born in Barcelona, Spain, 1971, and lives and works in Barcelona and Berlin. Ruiz’s recent solo shows include Big Bang at Centre d’Art La Panera, Lleida, and La visita guiada / The guided tour organized by Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía at Abadía de Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos. For November 2010 he is currently preparing Gasworks Yaoi, a solo exhibition at Gasworks, London.

This residency, exhibition and workshop have been made possible thanks to the generous support of AECI, Ana Maria Alonso Giganto at the Spanish Embassy to Cairo, and the inspired guidance of Mohamed AbdelKarim. CIC and Francesc Ruiz would also like to thank the following people for their contribution to this project: Mohammed Abdallah, Taha Belal, Agnès Debiage of Oum Eldounia Bookshop, Ranya Ismaail Bakr of Maktabet El Arabi, Mahmoud Khaled, Shennawy, and Asmaa Youssef.

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