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Ibrahim Ahmed, "Does Anybody Leave Heaven?", 2019. Installation with, audio, video, photographs and mixed media (textile and metal), Textile, 32.8 x 13 ft (10 x 4 m). Courtesy of the artist.

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Ibrahim Ahmed, "South x South," 2016. Textile and polyurethane with custom acrylic plinths, 50 x 13.77 x 21.65 in (127 x 35 x 55 cm). Courtesy of the artist.

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Ibrahim Ahmed, "Only Dreamers Leave," 2016. Installation of thirty sails, 13.12 x 5.90 ft (400 x 180 cm), each sail. Courtesy of the artist.

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Ibrahim Ahmed: It Will Always Come Back to You

Jul 23, 2021 – Nov 7, 2021

OVERVIEW

It is human to migrate. Yet, what happens when the stories that compel us to travel turn out to be myths? What objects, cultural ideas or personal histories sustain those myths, and guide our migrations through the world? 

In his first U.S. institutional exhibition, Kuwaiti-born, Giza-based artist Ibrahim Ahmed invites you to explore powerful mythic narratives. These are the stories that have influenced the migrations of so many from the Global South – including his own family. 

Through photo collage, sculpture, video, and large-scale installation, Ahmed wrestles with the cultural forces that prevail in the working-class neighborhood of Ard El Lewa in Giza, within his family, and even his own body.

Ibrahim Ahmed: It Will Always Come Back to You is curated by ICA Executive Director Dominic Asmall Willsdon.

Ibrahim Ahmed (b. 1984, Kuwait) spent his childhood between Bahrain and Egypt before moving to the US at the age of thirteen. In 2014, he relocated to Cairo, where he currently lives and works in the informal neighborhood of Ard El Lewa. Ahmed’s manipulations of material, especially textile, are informed by research into the histories and movements of peoples and objects. His works in mixed media, sculpture, and installation engage with subjects related to colonization, structures of power, cultural interactions, and fluid identity, generating discussion around ideas of the self and notions of authenticity within the parameters of the nation-state. Ahmed’s work has been included in major group exhibitions internationally, including at the Sharjah Art Museum, 4th International Biennial of Casablanca (2018), 13th edition of the Biennial of Dakar – Dak’Art (2018), 13th Havana Biennial (2019), and 12th edition of the Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography (2019-20).

PRESS

Ibrahim Ahmed,

Ibrahim Ahmed: It Will Always Come Back to You

ContemporaryAnd

Apr 19, 2021

The first solo museum exhibition of Cairo-based artist Ibrahim Ahmed, It Will Always Come Back to You presents a thematic selection of his work from 2013 to 2020 in a variety of media, including primarily textile-based sculpture, painting, and photo collage. The exhibition also features a new large sculpture commissioned by the ICA.

ICA at VCU to present first solo exhibition by Cairo-based artist Ibrahim Ahmed

VCU News

Apr 19, 2021

The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University will present the first solo museum exhibition of work by Cairo-based artist Ibrahim Ahmed July 23 through Nov. 28.