Our journey to Egypt, like India, was much more than just a journey: a kind of dive into an inner world, sometimes pushed to the background, veiled by the hard day to day realities of an artist’s life. “One cannot look straight at the sun, nor at death”, said La Rochefoucauld. However, in Egypt and India one can! In these two countries we felt part of a timeless sense of humanity.
We are facing history when we stand looking at the Sphinx of Guizeh or at the temples of Philae, Louxor or Abu Simbel, generously petrified in three or four millenia.
Ever so close however, are the deafening sounds of car horns and the swarming crouds of the souks that bring us back to the here and now. Indeed, Egypt is alive, the old villages as well as the modern districts of the big cities. It is not a ‘museum’ even though the pyramids and temples in their splendour and beauty represent for us eternal image.
As for nature, arid and mysterious or pleasant and luxuriant, it is there and alway will be. Superbe-looking bedouins dressed in their simple galabeyas, feluccas dashing through sky and water, sulky and smiling camels, lovely little donkeys as if put down on a route or at the bottom of a sparkling palm grove, rocks and sand of the desert: so many different shades of green, ochre and white contrasting with the clear sky, absolute happiness to Guidi, the painter traveller and for us, the awoken dreamers.
To us it is more than just an Egyptian escape, the land where myth and reality meet. We are at the end of the world and we surely reach our own limits, in the most beautiful light and silence.
Two women in the White Desert
(A.J. in invitation text for the exhibition organized by the Egyptian ambassy at the Egyptian cultural centre)