map
the broad

Cairo

Julie Mehretu
2013
ink and acrylic on canvas
120 x 288 in. (304.8 x 731.52 cm)

This work is a map. Not an ordinary map of a place, but rather, a story map, of both time and space.

This large work, Cairo, is by Julie Mehretu.

Working in pencil, pen, ink and paints, Julie makes large, detailed landscapes by layering and then removing elements like maps, charts, blueprints and buildings on her canvas.

As she builds and bulldozes, her work speaks about the history of a place--the city of Cairo in Egypt to be exact--but also wonders about its future.

In Cairo, Julie is showing us both the [SOUNDFX: sand blowing] ancient city, with sand from the Sahara blowing around it and its buildings. But we’re also seeing the more [SOUNDFX: marching rally sounds] recent revolution in the city, where the people who lived there demanded change from their government, through protests and riots.

The contrasts in Cairo give us a lot to think about.

The ancient city, looked at through current, contemporary eyes and the massive painting - that holds many minute details.