My House is My Studio and My Studio is My House. 2006

My House is My Studio and My Studio is My House Conceived of as a project that aims to examine the personal and social significances as well as ideological mechanisms behind two separate notions of space 'My House is My Studio and My Studio is My House' ventures into the boundaries of both the private/living space of the house or home and work/productive space of the artist's studio using the personal experiences of the artist as a point of departure. Hailing from a country where the extent, borders and vastness of ones private space are normally upset or intruded for many different reasons, it is the norm for the residents of Egyptian cities to adapt and negotiate their personal spaces and redesign them to be multifunctional. I use a small room located in the Cleopatra district of my home town, Alexandria, as both my home and my studio. I was raised and brought up in the same Flat that this room is part of and have lived there with my family for most of my life. Recently I have begun to realize and explore the effects and manifestations of working creatively, producing art and dwelling in the same place and how this affects my life and my work. Last January I was awarded a three month residency at the F+F school for media arts and design in Zurich. During the residency I also happened to stay in a multifunctional space, half studio, half living area. However, it was clear to me from the beginning that there were many differences between the Zurich studio/living space and my Alexandria studio/home, the Zurich space was much larger and more minimal. But, it occurred to me that while both spaces were bifunctional, the Alexandria space came to be that way through many years of negotiating my personal and social requirements while the Zurich space was a prefabricated formula specially designed to be put to the same use. The two spaces were no identical twins. 'My House is My Studio and My Studio is My House', Focuses on exploring the psychological and physical implications of my daily existence in both the Zurich and Alexandria spaces. It attempts to decipher both situations in light of them being in two different social and geopolitical contexts. It is an attempt to shed an investigative light on a similar yet dissimilar situation experienced in two very different cities, parallel studio-homes that one digested under two different states of artistic and everyday existence, as an artist living and working at home (with other people) in the case of Alexandria and as an artist in residence – living alone - in a town I was visiting for the first time, in the case of Zurich. By using documents of an almost diarial and autobiographical nature, one attempts to question the roles spaces perceived of as working spaces and others perceived of as living spaces have in shaping the contemporary individual's notions of issues such as "privacy" and "solitude". Looked at from another angle, the project can be perceived of as a paradoxical discourse on the preconceived notion that a studio is a place where artwork is produced, in this project the studio becomes the artwork itself and not it's incubator. s.