Sun, 11/22/2009 - 21:23
Early next year Cairenes will have a quicker and cheaper way to become "artistic intellectuals". Starting January 2010, commuters on the Mehwar will be able to enjoy masterpieces from the Artsy Museum of Elite Egyptians' Needs (AMEEN) free of charge as they zoom by them on their way to and from work. AMEEN and the Cairo Traffic Authority have teamed up to furnish Cairo with the most innovative art 'venue' yet: the billboard.
Leading the project is Dr. Zizi Abdou, a distant descendant of modern dance superstar Fifi Abdou, recent graduate of the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Shobra, and now Director General of AMEEN. She enthusiastically smacked her leban baladi as she winked and told EKT, "Our priority is customer satisfaction," adding, "This is part of a new initiative to turn everyone into an intellectual artistic analyst, without changing their sleazy lifestyles."
Admission at the AMEEN penthouse in Alfy street was up from the meager one visitor last year to a record smashing three this year. Therefore, it makes much more sense to bring art to the people, and require as little movement as possible. Dr. Zizi, as she prefers to be referred to, elaborated saying, "This way people can get their art fix quickly and they don't have to waste time looking at it, it would be just a quick distraction," she smiled.
Sadly the project has not been without controversy. Major players in the advertising industry are not happy with the project and have filed a suit declaring "advertisements could and should also be considered art." They have since refrained from the typical young, attractive women approach, and are pushing for images with sunsets and lake sides.
Supporters have rejoiced that the project would also be challenging the idea that art viewing is an elitist affair. Dr. Zizi said, "Yes of course, it's very exciting. Even people waiting to be crammed into microbuses can now have art in their lives, and a bit of a social status."
Wondering if the project could further endanger the lives of those driving on El Mehwar, EKT spoke with CTA director Anas Anoous. Mr. Anoous brushed away the possiblity by pointing out that El Mehwar is one of the safest roads in the world - "all thanks to highly trained microbus drivers," he said.