The Loudspeaker and the Tower

Trinity Square Video, 3 May 2019 - 8 June 2019, 401 Richmond St. W. Toronto, ON
College Art Galleries , 18 September 2020 - 19 December 2020, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK

In partnership with Trinity Square Video and CONTACT Photography Festival, we are pleased to present The Loudspeaker and the Tower featuring works by artist Manar Moursi. Through an immersive environment constructed of coloured lights, megaphones, masks, videos and sculptures, Toronto- and Boston-based artist, designer, and architect Manar Moursi presents a multitude of considerations to the viewer: What if singular patriarchal voices of religious sermons were interpreted through mime and dance? How would neon lights adorning mosque minarets look as sculptural objects? How do residents of Cairo challenge authoritative architectures and urban master plans, whilst creating new meanings for public space and land use? By that token, what shapes can we abstract from these biographical networks of the megalopolis?

Using the mosque as its starting point, The Loudspeaker and the Tower examines the apparatus of the minaret as a vertical symbol of power and as a horizontal multiplier of official and unsanctioned narratives. Moursi’s installation revolves around a set of associated characters — residents of once agricultural lands, mosque custodians, imams, architects, artists, and a parrot — to further understand the radical complexities of these structures. The exhibition acknowledges the hybridized function of these contemporary, religious houses, which operate as hacks into the civic infrastructure to secure amenities, community, and sustainability. In staging these elements, the exhibition highlights the material and political significance of new mosque architecture in Egypt today, looking into processes of building and negotiating both the structures themselves and what transpires inside them.

Moursi’s practice focuses on unpredictable configurations and improvised interventions in cities that often lie within broader networks of unauthorized systems. Aptly, these built examples possess a duality in both form and purpose, revealing and answering to the localized tensions related to property, class, gender and voice. The Loudspeaker and the Tower dissects multifarious experiences associated with minarets and mosques to present viewers with a complex yet playful attempt at listening, looking, and gathering. Cairo is the story, and the minaret becomes a character in an installation that functions as a call to action, inviting viewers to reconsider the dynamics of power within the city.

Manar Moursi: The Loudspeaker and the Tower essay by Ahmed Hegazy for C Magazine 

Exhibition Tour

We are excited to announce that Manar Mousi’s The Loudspeaker and The Tower will be touring to College Art Galleries at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK. 

Seeing Life and Land through the Loudspeaker and the Tower – Essay by Nadia Kurd

Manar Moursi: The Loudspeaker and The Tower
18 September 2020 – 19 December 2020

College Art Galleries | Kenderdine Art Gallery | University of Saskatchewan
51 Campus Dr (2nd level)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A8

Opening Reception
Friday 3 May 2019 from 6pm – 8pm
Trinity Square Video – 401 Richmond St. W. Toronto, ON (Suite 121)
Sound Diaries and Recitals: a workshop
11 May – 18 May 2019
Trinity Square Video – 401 Richmond St. W. Toronto, ON (Suite 121)
Minaret Mix: performance by Kat Estacio
Friday 17 May 2019
Trinity Square Video – 401 Richmond St. W. Toronto, ON (Suite 121)

Sound Diaries and Recitals: a workshop
11 May – 18 May 2019

How can we communicate our experience of the (prelinguistic, extra-linguistic) sonic world in the symbolic realm of language? Join us on May 11th, 12th, and 18th for a responsive workshop with John Rage (alias Fan Wu) who will be leading a small group in an intimate two-day program involving shared listening exercises and collaborative writing experiments. Answering to the soundscapes presented throughout Manar Moursi’s exhibition The Loudspeaker and the Tower, the workshop will actively consider, through writing, the importance of sound in our everyday lives.

Day One (May 11, full day): Sound as diaries

The group will meet at TSV as a meeting point to discuss readings and then move to a field location to learn about and create sound dairies through recordings and writings (recording equipment will be provided by TSV). Participants will be encouraged to repeat the exercise that evening and work on developing a miniature written piece (poem, narrative, lyric essay) to be shared the following day.

Day Two (May 12, half day): Sound as recitation

We will share our writing pieces and practice different forms of collectively reciting and recording these works.

Day Three (May 18, half day): Sound sampling

We all work with DJ and sound artist Kat Estacio to sample and compile a soundtrack using field recordings that we have gathered as well as our written and recorded responses to the sounds we heard. As an exercise in broadcasting sound, the track will be projected from the loudspeaker of the minaret installation in The Loudspeaker and the Tower the following Friday, May 24th.

The workshop is open to artists, writers, musicians, architects and creative practitioners from any discipline. If you’re interested in participating in the workshop please send an email to and by Tuesday, May 7th. SPACE IS LIMITED. We will reply within 2 days to a confirmed list of 8 participants with details on times, texts and locations. 

Minaret Mix: performance by Kat Estacio
Friday 17 May 2019

The minarets centered in Manar Moursi’s new work “Stairway to Heaven” are the catalysts for the metropolitan development of newly forged communities on the outer, agricultural lands of Cairo. Similar to the call-to-worship recordings that project from the loudspeakers of these minarets, the musical purposes of the traditional Filipino kulintang gong shares a paralleled ability to gather communities to public space.

In a stimulated performance, musician and artist Kat Estacio will re-mix the raw field recordings from the score of “Stairway to Heaven” with drone Kulintang sounds. In an act that dilutes the patriarchal impositions of the minaret, Estacio will usher in the matriarchy through the imitation sounds of the (mother) nature attributed to Kulintang music.

Part of public programming or The Loudspeaker and the Tower, a solo show of new works by Manar Moursi on from May 3 – June 8, 2019. Co-presented by Trinity Square Video, SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre), and CONTACT Photography Festival.

Manar Moursi is multi-disciplinary artist. Informed by her architectural and design background, her work tackles social and political themes through the lens of everyday spatial and material culture. Her book Sidewalk Salon: 1001 Street Chairs of Cairo co-authored with David Puig was published by Onomatopee in 2015. She has presented work in venues across the Middle East and Europe. In addition to her art practice, Manar teaches architecture and publishes regularly on urban and architectural issues. In 2016, she participated in curating and writing for Egypt’s participation at the Venice Architectural Biennale.

John Rage is the sound of sand falling on steel in a cave you’ve never been. His pleasures are facilitation and the big-time sensuality of the world at large. Contact him for collaboration or inquiry at

Kat Estacio is a musician, artist, and a creative arachnid in Toronto. Her work as a diasporic queer woman of colour occupies the cranny in between the intersections of nostalgia and decolonization. She is a founding member of Pantayo, a lo-fi R&B gong punk band. Her solo compositions blend drifty experimental synth tones with the soft percussive timbre of kulintang, a departure from the more rhythmic stylings of the larger outfit she shares in Pantayo. A strange hypnotic world unfolds that is both starkly daunting and deeply inviting. A sinister and brooding trip, modern and traditional listeners are pulled into a new terrain, and there is nowhere to hide.

Trinity Square Video (TSV) is a space to re-imagine media arts. Founded in 1971, the not-for-profit, charitable organization is one of Canada’s first artist-run centres and its oldest media arts centre. 

The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is the largest annual photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural experience in Canada, with over 200 exhibitions and happenings from May 1-31 in the Greater Toronto Area. Founded in 1997, CONTACT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and fostering photography and related media with an annual Festival in May and year-round programming in the CONTACT Gallery.


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