The Mountain: Moataz Nasr

9 March - 16 May 2019


This March, Meem Gallery, Dubai, in collaboration with GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, is delighted to present Moataz Nasr's feature film, The Mountain.


Last seen as part of an immersive, multi-sensory experience in the Egyptian pavilion of the 2017 Venice Biennale, the 12-minute film tells the story of Zein, a young girl who leaves her isolated village in mountainous Upper Egypt to continue her studies. On her return, Zein, now an educated, worldly young woman, challenges the deep-set superstitions and conventions of her village by flouting the authority of the disapproving local elders. Addressing the abiding

and universal conflict between enlightened youth and the conservative establishment, Nasr uses the mountain as a metaphor for triumph over of the village 'demon' (fear) which lives on top of the mountain and terrorises the villagers after sunset. Taking her father's staff, seemingly, a symbol of patriarchal authority, Zein makes her way up the mountain, cautiously followed by the villagers, and stabs it into the heart of the mountain before falling to the ground. The viewer, as well as the assembled crowd, is left wondering if she is alive or has made the ultimate sacrifice.


Despite its simple, rural setting, this fable, that demonstrates the collective, paralysing fear that breeds inaction and hinders the possibility of progress, can be applied universally. Dedicated to the artist's three daughters, The Mountain also delivers a distinctly feminist message about the bravery of women who challenge the status quo.


Born in Alexandria in 1961, Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr explores traditions and new globalism, questioning geopolitical and social development in the Middle East and Africa. The artist uses his artistic practice, which spans a diverse variety of media, as a language that embraces sociology, spirituality and history in order to encourage dialogue across geographical

boundaries. His work has been widely exhibited across Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.


An exhibition catalogue, which will include an essay by art historian and curator Simon Njami, will be published in conjunction with the exhibition. 


A schedule of daily screenings will be published on the gallery's website. 


The artist will be available for press tours and interviews, please liaise directly with Jules McDevitt via the details below.


Jules McDevitt

+971 4 347 7883