Egyptian obelisks, statues, temples, and mummies are nowadays found all over the world. They have been excavated, dug up, and shipped to European cities, sometimes by the will of Egyptians and more often without. The first mummy, who traveled to the Netherlands, arrived in the early seventeen hundreds. In 2017, I moved to live there. Not long after, I found myself searching for Egypt in my new European home.
With this ongoing body of work, I look at some of the legacies of the imperial interest in Egypt during the early nineteenth century. I explore, on the one hand, how it has resulted in a continuing forced immigration of Egyptian artefacts and human remains, many of which consider now museums their home. On the other hand, I investigate the widespread aesthetic impact of this historical obsession with Egypt on European cities, where I keep finding traces of home outside home. By building an analogy between the journey of my ancestors to Europe and mine, I attempt to imagine how they probably feel –like me– a longing for home.
A Tourist Handbook: Egypt Outside of Egypt, Vol.1 - Paris