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gasworks open studio

Mahmoud Khaled lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. In 2004, he received his BFA in painting from Alexandria University. He is the recipient of a number of residencies including the Sally and Lucas Artists Programs Residency at the Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, California and the artist's residency at the F+F School for Media Art and Design, Zurich, Switzerland. He is also a founding member of the not-for-profit art initiative and gallery Alexandria Contemporary Art Forum.

Khaled's approach is both process oriented and multidisciplinary, producing works in video, photography, text, and site specific installation. Most of his projects have at their core a thorough exploration of the document, in its many variations of official, social, historical or personal. Khaled makes use of video stills, found objects, and various photographic resources, to test the boundaries between the personal, the political, the historical and the social domains. His projects tend to examine the often coded and powerful socio-political trajectories that run through our daily lives.

An ongoing project is MKMAEL, an alter ego constructed via interactions online. Using mens' social networking sites, for a period of months Khaled has been interacting as MKMAEL. The web classically allows anonymity and yet is the site for thousands of encounters of varying depth. Selected narratives and excerpts from one such relationship are published in An Image Passionate,  a booklet produced as a pastiche of classic popular romance novels in Egypt.

During this residency he worked extensively on research with Iniva, where he began a research project investigating the careers of male belly-dance performers based in London. The project takes as its point of departure of Khaled’s accidental discovery of Khaled Mahmoud, a popular London-based belly dancer born in Cairo, whose identity emerged from the field of search results generated by the artist after trying to ‘google’ his own name.

Audio-visual transcripts of the Google Me event were made available to the public during Gasworks’ Open Studios, in which the hybridised personality of artist-performer Khaled.Mahmoud.Khaled spoke to audiences about his early artistic formation and professional career. Like MKMAEL, Khaled’s on-going research project explores the impact of the internet on the formation of personal identity and social networks. Khaled also takes an interest in belly-dance performers as artists confronting issues related to gender identity and notions of cultural ‘authenticity’ in a field located outside the boundaries typically claimed by contemporary art.


Event - Google me

Artist talk by Egyptian artist
Tuesday 3 June, 7-8 pm at Rivington Place


Mahmoud Khaled's website


Africa Beyond