Egyptian artist Wael Shawky is acclaimed internationally for his films and installations exploring political, religious and historical narratives. Over the past six years, Shawky has been developing Cabaret Crusades 2010-15, a monumental project inspired by French-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf's seminal 1983 text 'Les croisades vues par les arabes (The Crusades through Arab Eyes)'. Using exquisitely-made wood, ceramic and glass marionettes, Shawky's trilogy re-enacts events from the Crusades of the Middle Ages, beginning with attempts to establish Christian rule throughout the Holy Land in 1095 and ending with the destruction of Constantinople by Venetian Crusaders in 1204. The resulting trilogy is a work of major significance, deftly blending film and theatre, literature and music, that opens up an important lens on the complex political landscape of the Middle East today.
As part of the closing weekend of APT8, the Australian Cinémathèque is proud to present the Australian premiere of one of the most exquisite and compelling works of contemporary art.