Iman Issa: Parables
Glasgow Sculpture Studios exhibit installation and sound works by Egyptian artist
Having known Iman Issa since a meeting in the artist’s home city of Egypt in 2008, Glasgow Sculpture Studios director Kyla McDonald was keen to show her work as soon as she took over at GSS. ‘But I wasn’t quite sure how best to do this,’ says McDonald.
‘Iman works in a very methodical way, with many works taking a long time to complete due to her process of careful refinement. After many discussions we chose to present two existing works, Common Elements (2013) and The Revolutionary (2010). The former is her largest installation to date and the latter is a sound work that explores similar themes.’
The Revolutionary is a sound piece which builds an intentionally clichéd picture of a radical political figure, while Common Elements is a maze-like installation of half-remembered and copied works from museums Issa has visited and texts from biographies she’s read. A new publication to accompany Common Elements will also form part of the show.
‘Issa’s work explores many things,’ says McDonald, ‘but I’d say she’s interested in how meaning, both the political and personal, is carried and disseminated through language, objects and forms – she investigates what’s familiar to us, and she’s interested in the intersection between an individual experience and a collective one. I think it’s also important to say her work is firmly rooted in the history and ever-evolving present and future of the Arab world, with particular reference to her native Egypt.’