Blog: MCA DNA Index

Because #BasimToldMeTo

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The ravaged sky, the dry fields and all the farmers’ dark and cold barns found refuge in the palm of her hand. Magic was all around, but everyone knew magic was for dreamers and palm readers and they let the day end the way it began. The following day, they woke up to the revelation that magic is the art of surprise
© Basim Magdy

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A rare occurrence of things looking as complicated as they really are
© Basim Magdy

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When was the last time an artist asked you to not only take a photo of their work but to also digitally modify it and post it online? That’s exactly what artist Basim Magdy is asking you to do in his exhibition The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings. Respond to the artworks on view by creating your own digital creation—add filters, stickers, or digital doodles, anything you can do on your device. (Please, please, please do not attempt to physically alter the works in the galleries.) After you’ve completed your new artwork, post it online, tagging #BasimToldMeTo and @mcachicago; you may be asked to feature your work on our blog or on our Instagram or Facebook pages.

Here are some ideas from the artist on how to participate:

Use Parody

on Parody

What would your rules for understanding the world be? 13 essential rules for understanding the world were created when working on my film of the same title. Come up with your own rule or a parody of the film to post online. Watch the film online or visit the exhibition.

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A photo posted by MCA Chicago (@mcachicago) on

Write a Story

on the instagram post


It would be years later, when, between fear-fissured homes, the scar of the shadow of the ghost, would bring one to the other in an electric spiral, which embraced as much as pricked me

on writing a story

Write a love story or a fragment of a love story, like An Apology to a Love Story that Crashed into a Whale.

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In this photograph, an empty wooden bench sits on a garden path in front of a large group of bushes, one bush blooming fuschia flowers.
When she kissed him in the dream, it felt better than all of his fantasies. He knew he had to send her a message, a telepathic thought. As he sat on a park bench waiting for her reply, he realized that maybe dreams should stay dreams and not turn into fantasies
© Basim Magdy

Embrace Creativity

on creativity

Respond to the art by adding your own creative take on the exhibition with digital doodles, stickers, emoji, or anything else you want to do digitally to make the photo your own—or just take a #MuseumSelfie.

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