I am Mohamed Al Bakeri (1991, Egypt) and I am an independent visual artist based in Cairo, Egypt. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and recently completed the independent study and studio program, MASS Alexandria, founded by Wael Shawky . After working in advertising and marketing I began to focus more on my artistic practice, experimenting with mediums like photography, printing, and video. My work pushes preconceived socio cultural norms, and my work aim to bring different audiences close to the experience of physical interaction, by relating to sensations that are not always visual.
I am interested in topics that go beyond our socio-cultural norms and my ambition is to seek narratives that challenge the existing molds. I believe that part of what I do is transforming the fixed binaries and showing more possibilities, as masculinity and gender politics is of great interest in my work. I try to approach my work in a way that goes beyond gender, trying to propose a different language as opposed to what we are led to believe to be a defined norm. Sensuality and allusiveness are two factors I use to invite people to gaze into my work.
I was classically trained for a while, and so I used to prefer the medium of painting in my early experimental work, however, I learned not to limit myself to a certain medium before fully experimenting with the idea I am working on. I usually choose the most suitable medium based on what I am trying to visualize, as I am currently navigating between mediums like photography, video, installation, painting, printing, among others. Especially because what I do is fused with tension, emotion and subtle gestures, the materiality of what I work with and how it will come out is very important to embody and speak such emotions.
This work looks into the social politics and performances of everyday gestures between men. I am interested in the body language and visual language that is generated within, in addition to the elements that come with it like the duration, space, weight, and context. The projects focus on the conceptualization of gender roles in the Arab world context. I have been particularly drawn to the physical gestures and politics that exist between males in traditional cafes called “Qahwas” which are predominantly and regularly occupied by men.