Untitled (Go-go Dancing Platform) Speaks (2016)
Mahmoud Khaled’s performative intervention starts from the question: what is the ‘new art’ of today? Mahmoud Khaled uses an iconic piece produced in 1991 by Felix Gonzalez-Torres called Untitled (Go-go Dancing Platform), where for five minutes each day, an unscheduled and unannounced dancer clad in silver lamé shorts, ascends a lighted platform to dance to music of his own choosing, played through earphones so only the dancer could hear. The platform functions as an art object or minimalist sculpture all day, except during those five minutes when the dancer transforms it by his presence. In Khaled’s iteration, the dancer looks the same but he is not dancing. As he moves around the platform, he is struggling to think about his own existence as an art object demanding a new form of art. Instead of a Walkman, the dancer carries a portable voice amplifier typically used by teachers and tour guides. He reads a text authored by Khaled and based on correspondences between him and a number of art practitioners and theorists who question the role and future of contemporary art in the current violent moment.
Born 1982, Alexandria
Khaled 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.