I have been interested in issues related to the Internet as a space with infinite possibilities for self-representation, and how the current networked age has changed our personal and professional lives and the way we think about ourselves. Also the fact that on the Internet there is always hope to get rid of your ready-made self, discover another self or find someone else who can change your life, through what I can the "mechanisms" of duality and disparity. I started to think about “dichotomy” and “juxtaposition” as key tactics in my practice and my way of thinking as I practically filter all my ideas through these two concepts, which redefines the work, the elements it is composed of, its internal relationships, meanings, aesthetic qualities and social and political connotations. I also have a stubborn belief that elements cannot survive, as they are, that they can only survive in pairs or in relation to other things. Basically like personal relationships, even if the counterpart is imaginary.
The point of departure of this piece was based on my accidental discovery of Khaled Mahmoud, a popular London-based oriental dancer born in Cairo, who I found after trying to ‘Google’ my own name in an attempt to discover the level of information, success and fame I reached on the net. After a while I realized that Khaled and I as artists through our practices and career are confronting issues related to gender identity and notions of cultural ‘authenticity’ in different fields; one of them being the oriental dance, which is located outside the boundaries typically claimed by contemporary art.
As soon as we think or talk about identities, things become political automatically--although I believe that every artwork has a political impact and that the art practice itself is a very political practice in the meantime so I have a problem in differentiating what is political and what is not in this context--but of course when we think about the profession of Khaled Mahmoud, the internationally successful dancer in a field that has been always dominated by women to please eyes of men, in a very orientalist sense we will obviously realize that all his work is about deconstructing many of our ideas about gender, sexuality and what is so called “the other’s culture” which are things that I consider crucial in my own work as a visual artist too.