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Marc Erwin Babej
Yesterday - Tomorrow

© Marc Erwin Babej

30.03. - 17.09.2017

The revival of Egyptian art after 2,000 years of dormancy, and its evolution in photorealistic media.

The Roemer- und Pelizaeus Museum is proud to announce the worldwide premiere of Yesterday - Tomorrow, a significant new work by American-German photographic artist Marc Erwin Babej. An international team of more than 50 specialists was involved in its creation, among them 13 Egyptologists from institutions such as American University in Cairo, Brown University, Harvard University, Sorbonne and the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum.

InYesterday - Tomorrow, Babej adapts the defining feature of Egyptian art, aspective representation (showing figures from multiple perspectives simultaneously) to photorealistic media - in which the "anatomically incorrect" figural representation of Egyptian art had been assumed to be unachievable. The resulting art style, aspective Realism, also incorporates ane approach to the integration of images with symbols and text, on the basis of the formal language of Egyptian art. The core of the work consists of 15 monumental "photographic reliefs", each co-created with an Egyptologist. It also incorporates the photogrammetric Bust of Hatshepsut and a virtual layer, with image recognition and AR (augmented reality)functionalities. Yesterday - Tomorrow applies the formal language of Egyptian art to the human condition, across time and cultures, to issues that were defining in ancient Egypt and have remained so in our time. Themes of the photographic reliefs range from cult of personality to the integration of foreigners; from gender roles to the search for eternal beauty.

Babej, who lives and works in New York City, chose the Roemer- und Pelizaeus Museum as the venue for the premiere, because he first encountered Egyptian art here in his childhood (at the legendary 1975 Echnaton, Nofretete, Tutanchamun exhibition). The exhibition also entails an accompanying program, including guided tours and lectures. In August, the museum will hold an international academic congress centered around the work, titled Egyptian Art - Then and Now.