Mere Real Things


Mere Real Things
Ayman Ramadan
Opening reception: Sunday, February 15 – 7:00 pm
First Floor Gallery, Townhouse

I think about those objects, those boxes, those utensils that sometimes would turn up in storerooms, kitchens, or hidden spots, and whose use no one can explain anymore. The vanity of believing that we understand the works of time: it buries its dead and keeps the keys. Only in dreams, in poetry, in play — lighting a candle, walking with it along the corridor — do we sometimes arrive at what we were before we were this thing that, who knows, we are. — Julio Cortazar

When does a thing become an art work? And once it becomes an art work, can it ever go back to just being a thing again?

In “Mere Real Things,” Ayman Ramadan takes on the role of the artist-curator, assembling a selection of utilitarian and decorative household items and rendering them useless by displaying them in an exhibition space. Such objects and decorations were once commonplace in middle-class homes and shops across Egypt. But with the advent of the free market and the swift changes in visual culture that globalism ushers in, such items have just as swiftly moved out of their former homes, instead confining themselves to lower-economic households in villages and on the periphery of the city. Given the rapid pace of this trajectory, one can imagine a near future in which these items would divest themselves of their usefulness altogether, and exist only as aesthetic objects of interest in museum displays