Rehab El Sadek Wins $25,000 Project Row Houses Southern Survey Biennial Prize

by Jessica Fuentes November 13, 2022

Last month, Project Row Houses (PRH) debuted its inaugural Southern Survey Biennial exhibition featuring work by Carlie Trosclair, Kandy G Lopez, Naomi Lemus, Rashayla Marie Brown (RMB), Rehab El Sadek, Sedrick E. Huckaby, and Victoria Ravelo. This weekend PRH hosted a talk by guest curator Valerie Cassel Oliver and announced Ms. El Sadek as the winner of $25,000 Dr. Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase PRH Southern Survey Biennial Prize.

Danielle Burns Wilson, Eureka Gilkey, and Valerie Cassel Oliver present a $25,000 prize to Rehab El Sadek (not pictured).

Danielle Burns Wilson, Eureka Gilkey, and Valerie Cassel Oliver announce Rehab El Sadek as the $25,000 prize winner

In a press release, Ms. Cassel Oliver, who curated the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s highly acclaimed exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse, stated, “[I am] honored to serve as the inaugural juror for what I hope will become a vital platform for artists working within the southern region that is now being acknowledged for its historical and contemporary significance.”

She also discussed the selected artists stating that they, “mirror the diversity and robust energy of a new South. Their work has something to teach us about survival and the stubborn persistence of being, isolation and loss, and the intention of being deliberate.”

Each artist participating in the Southern Survey Biennial received a $4,000 stipend to create their project and $500 to support the creation and implementation of programming. Additionally, this exhibition, which is the 54th round of shows at PRH, is the first time the organization has awarded a prize to a round artist.

Installation image of work by Rehab El Sadek on view at Project Row Houses' "Southern Survey Biennial."

Installation image of work by Rehab El Sadek on view at Project Row Houses’ “Southern Survey Biennial.”

At the announcement of the prize winner, Ms. Cassel Oliver explained that Ms. El Sadek’s work, “encapsulated all of the ideas [about the South.]” She continued, saying that the work speaks “to the generosity of place and creating place.”

Learn more about Ms. El Sadek below via a bio provided by PRH.

A photograph of artist Rehab El Sadek standing behind a translucent fabric with arched windows behind her.

Rehab El Sadek. Photo courtesy of Project Row Houses

Rehab El Sadek (1972) is a conceptual Egyptian artist who has been exhibiting internationally for thirty years. She utilizes architectural structures, light, shadow, and memory to investigate the layered reality of the immigrant experience. She creates alternative spaces that invite viewers to question existing power dynamics and contemplate the role of individuals—especially the marginalized.

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