At the core of Mahmoud Khaled’s practice lies a probing engagement with the construction of male identity. In a society that is increasingly shaped by mediated and virtual exchanges, Khaled’s work traces the boundaries between what is real and what is hidden, disguised or staged. The impact of his training as an academic painter can be seen in his concern with form, which is at once extravagant and austere.
Mixing photography and video with sculptural forms, sound and text, Khaled’s subjects are often unconventional. His single channel videos and installation have portrayed a professional male belly dancer, a group of body builders, bullfighters and online communities of HIV-infected individuals. Many of his works can be regarded as formal and philosophical ruminations on the value and meaning of art as a form of political activism, an object of desire and a space for critical reflection. His artistic vocabulary is composed of appropriated forms that have been displaced from their original context thereby proposing alternative meanings. His most recent work has taken a more intimate turn by tackling romance and its commemoration. The poignancy of Khaled’s work lies in its delicate articulation of a vulnerability that characterizes the human condition, whether we subscribe to a mainstream value system or not.
Mahmoud Khaled (b. 1982) studied fine art at Alexandria University in Egypt and Trondheim University in Norway. His work - spanning video, photography, sculpture, installation, sound and text - explores what is real and what is hidden, disguised or staged. He has exhibited his work in Manifesta 8 (Murcia), Salzburger Kunstverein (Salzburg), Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam – SMBA (Amsterdam), Bonner Kunstverein (Bonn), UKS (Oslo), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, (Gateshead), Townhouse (Cairo), Sultan Gallery (Kuwait) and Whitechapel Gallery (London). In 2012 Khaled was awarded the Videobrasil In Context prize and he is shortlisted for the 2016 Abraaj Art Prize.