Natacha fume le narguile, Cairo 2000


Hand colored gelatin silver print

115 x 75 cm

This half-length photograph portrays Egyptian-born singer Natacha Atlas in a shimmering outfit that leaves little to the imagination. Lying down, eyes closed as if asleep, she holds the tip of a hookah in her hands.

The carefully composed portrait Natacha Fume le Narguilé, Cairo 2000 (Natacha Smoking the Hookah, Cairo 2020) belongs to a series featuring contemporary art icons. Youssef Nabil reenacts orientalist codes and stereotypes, here through a fantasised depiction of the Arab woman. The photographer gives these portraits an outdated aesthetic by hand-colouring the prints based on techniques from the 1940s, the golden age of Egyptian cinema.

Natacha Fume le Narguilé, Cairo 2000 is being presented for the first time in 2020 by the Pinault Collection during Nabil's solo show “Once Upon A Dream” at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.