“Dust” explores the conditions and relevance of empty architectural spaces in Egypt, presenting an entwined dualism: dust as materiality that layers the city, literally tracing the passage of time upon urban objects – but also as a temporal metaphor that registers these changes on the level of memories, both past and present.
Architecture constructed in Egypt in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – usually referred to as ‘Cosmopolitan Architecture’ – is rapidly succumbing to neglect, a real estate frenzy and the overpopulation of the cities. These factors lend particular urgency to Nikolskaya’s documentation of these spaces. Since she first initiated this project in 2006, a number of the locations depicted in her work have been demolished, while others have gone through a process of renovation and modernization.
On view at the Townhouse First Floor Gallery (Hussein El Me’mar Pasha St, off Mahmoud Basyouni St, Cairo, Egypt) from May 6 through June 13