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Bashir Al Mahayni



Artist statement

KaoKab is a 28-minute video performance documenting a two-hour long collaborative process that took place in a production studio in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) in 2022. The Kaokab performance centers improvisation and collaborative exploration between clay, moving bodies, and the moving image — bridging the realms of social sculpture and human interaction. Given a series of tasks, the participants are invited into the creative universe as they become a moving sculpture, and their agency allows the work to take form. The title of the work, Kaokab is translated from كوكب in Arabic, which has multiple meanings including mountain, group of people, cycle, water, star, adversity and out of reach. This word’s multiple layers of meaning further encompass and support the ambiguity of the performance. As an empowered collective, the notion of society-building is unfixed, fluid, and transformative, like a piece of clay. This video performance draws parallels with our contemporary zeitgeist, as the elements of desire, freedom, and consequence manifest themselves through creation. Finally, in Kaokab the dancers are brought back to rediscover earth for the first time, like a baby learning how to walk, roll, play and touch where the boundaries of skin end and the clay begins.

The work was created with performers Diego Cervantes, Hannah Hollingham, Forrest Russell, Marianne Lynch, Madz DeRose, and Nick Lynch as cinematographer and gaffe.

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Artist’s biography

Bashir Al Mahayni aka Beasho is an artist from Damascus who currently resides in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (with honours) from Concordia University in Intermedia (IMCA). Al Mahayni conducts movement projects exploring the intersection of performance installation, photography, and sculpture. Through the transformation, remixing, blending, and manipulation of human bodies, he investigates unfamiliar territories of possible movements through body, space, and time. He has exhibited his work at Nthspace (2022), Art Matters x Nuit Blanche (2022), VAV gallery (2022), and Studio7 (2021). Al Mahayni's research revolves around the transcendence of human movement. 

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