Visual Artist Exchange Programme with the Austrian Cultural Forum Cairo
“My recommendation is to hear, ask, eat and see as much as possible. I would stay away from governmental institutions. When artworks are limited by political interests, they become government propaganda.”
Oscar Cueto (*1976 in Mexico-City, lives and works in Vienna). His work is an exercise in writing narratives and reflecting on the mechanisms that construct the notion of historicity, knowledge, memory and subject as identity. Such themes are often developed as fictions or – as in the case of some recent work – as participative installations. In 2019, Oscar Cueto created the Public Art installation “The Right to Be Lazy” for philomena+.
Inspired by a famous 19th century Austrian painting by Ludwig Deutsch which depicts a traditional Cairene coffee house, Oscar Cueto developed for Cairo a real-life environment that merges elements of Arabic and Austrian coffee-house culture. The project explores cultural relations between Vienna and Cairo and deals in particular with the history and significance of the coffee-house as a meeting place for artists, civilians, civil servants, pacifists, and believers. At the same time, it served as a platform for Oscar Cueto’s recent research work on artistic resistance, which in this case focused on graffiti art.