Taking art out of classic exhibition places to install it in the Faculty of Economics and Political Science is putting two spaces of freedom that are also closed to the outside world: the University and the universe of contemporary art. It is also to affirm the anthropological dimension of art. Like a mirror, the work introduces a critical distance from the cultural context to which it refers. The artist translates into a visual language, the social reality of which he becomes the mediator with the public.

In the cultural sense, hybridity is the result of a process of internalization of foreign elements (words, ideas, values) by a culture or an individual. At the artistic level, it signifies the appropriation of cultural, aesthetic or visual elements for the production of an “original” work, different both from the model borrowed and from the context of the work. The idea of ​​hybridity is not derogatory. It only seeks to express the current trend towards cultural borrowing in the context of increasing globalization; This does not mean American standardization but the production of cultural differences through the reappropriation of external borrowing. 

Khaled HAFEZ’s painting establishes a visual parallelism between Anubis and Batman and thus associates the icons of American consumerism with that of the pharaonic religion. This juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane constitutes a criticism of Western materialism and recalls the approach of the artists of the pop movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This common criticism means that both Egypt and the West are faced with the spread of the culture of mass and consumption. Above all, this juxtaposition of sacred images and profane images, in a context where the values ​​remain largely of religious inspiration, affirms a specificity compared to the Western tendency to absolute relativism,

This hybrid nature of the works raises the question of identity and cultural difference. The artistic globalization which results in borrowing from other cultures sometimes leads to the fear of acculturation or that of the standardization of artistic criteria according to Western standards. However, borrowing does not imply copying and means that the contexts have similarities. Beyond the common points, external loans placed in a specific context take on a new and different dimension.

Cultural specificity is therefore no longer solely the fruit of belonging to a defined territory like the nation state. The reappropriation makes it possible to produce cultural or artistic difference beyond the model borrowed. This mechanism is the result of a perpetual adjustment to a changing context articulating several scales of cultural references. The work thus produced seems to be just as elusive as the cultural identity, both specific and hybrid. 

Victoria Chenivesse-Ambrossini