Basim Magdy exhibition at Arnolfini extended to 6 August 2017

Arnolfini, Bristol: 14 April – 18 June 6 August 2017

Basim Magdy: The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings  

Bristol’s Arnolfini is pleased to announce the extension of its current exhibition by Basim Magdy. The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings is Magdy’s first major UK solo exhibition and will now remain open at Arnolfini until 6 August 2017. 

The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings is part of Deutsche Bank’s ‘Artist of the Year’ programme and includes works on paper and in film, photography and slide projection that question the boundaries between reality, imagination and memory.

Since opening to the public on 14 April 2017, the exhibition has welcomed almost 17,000 visitors, including over 1,500 school children. It will now remain open for two months longer than originally planned, capitalising on the summer months and giving more local residents, national and international visitors the opportunity to enjoy Basim Magdy’s thought-provoking practice.

“In recent years I have developed an interest in creating a language where image, text and sound don’t respond to or illustrate one another too literally, where they float together in one container, sometimes meeting and other times drifting apart. In most cases there is a conclusion that doesn’t offer an obvious resolution. This leaves gaps for the imagination, offering a different understanding of these elements while maintaining the work as one coherent entity.” 
Basim Magdy


Throughout the exhibition Basim Magdy is inviting the public to share their thoughts about the exhibition and connect with him via #DearBasim. Hundreds of visitors have so far responded, offering multiple new perspectives and interpretations of the artist’s work, from utopian visions of a new world and short stories to kaleidoscopic imagery and poetry.

The artist has also invited 16-25 year olds to write a short story, poem or text that is set in a Bristol of the future. A selection of entries will be published on the Arnolfini blog, with selected young writers offered mentoring sessions by Arnolfini.

An offsite work by Basim Magdy, Advice for the Young and the Seekers of Sanity, is being shown daily at 3pm on Big Screen Bristol in Millennium Square until 18 June.


Arnolfini now prepares for the arrival of new incoming Director Claire Doherty, who officially takes up her position on 1 August. Doherty joins the organisation after fifteen years as the Director and Founder of Situations, one of the UK’s foremost producers of public art projects.

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead Arnolfini’s next chapter in Bristol – a city which is truly a crucible of brave new ideas and creative talent. Across the UK, this is a moment of profound change for our cultural infrastructure as we face the economic and societal challenges ahead. We are already seeing new models of collaboration, leadership and openness emerge and brave new types of arts organisation which are responding to the interests and needs of artists and audiences in more relevant ways. I’m excited about the prospect of Arnolfini playing a major part in these developments, drawing on its considerable history, as we go forward with an emboldened, new vision.”

Claire Doherty


Visiting information

Basim Madgy: The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings
Friday 14 April – Sunday 6 August 2017
Free Admission

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-6pm
Closed on Mondays, except Bank Holidays

Arnolfini
16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA
Box Office +44 (0)117 917 2300

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