Between July 14 – 22 2017 SomoS presents the work of Alexandre Baptista (Brazil/Germany) and Syed Shoaib Mahmood (India) in “Reflexive,” the first installment of SomoS’ new exhibition series “Language Matters.” Both artists have prepared their work at SomoS as part of their Artist-in-Residence. Mahmood and Baptista share an interest in translation, wordplay, the tension between text and image, language’s role in the construction of identity and the way context changes the meaning of language and imagery.
Using text, installation, video, photography, and social media, Alexandre Baptista employs language as vehicle of identity, thematizing the self and the other, making playful use of mistakes, misspellings, wordplay and associations. In his ongoing project “Social words / ME” Baptista produces “inter-texts” between different languages (German/English/Portuguese), considering translation as an inner experience of the world. His “inter-texts” are released into the streets and on social media where they confront the general audience with the signs of daily life.
Mixed media and sculpture are Syed Shoaib Mahmood’s preferred techniques. Incorporating language and philosophical questions, his art works serve as visual metaphors for relationships between people. In his prints, billboards and sculptures, he explores the tricky relation between language, image and object. Reflections and social relationships play an important part in Mahmood’s work. He views his large scale word pieces as sculpture.
Both artists will present public presentations of their work on the street as well, Baptista in SomoS’ house entrance; Mahmood in street posters in SomoS’ vicinity.
Alexandre Baptista, 26, Brazilian, is an artist and researcher. Currently he is residing and working in Berlin. Baptista has a degree in Fine Arts from FAAP. His work engages with our role in an increasingly interconnected world, questioning how in a territory of permanent transformations, laden with images and objects produced by a consumerist society – which one could serve as material to compose a relevant collection in the light of our historical moment? What elements could constitute, for example, of the identity of a people?
Through the collection of fragments of objects and photographic images, Baptista proposes to intervene in a historical linear narrative, adding other possibilities to it’s course in which new relationships are created. By overlapping languages; creating neighborhoods sometimes by form, sometimes by content, he verifies a way of analysis of the phenomenology which leads to the search for our identity.
Syed Shoaib Mahmood
Mahmood is interested in the philosophical aspects of beauty; its effects, paradoxes and ironies, because as, how Mahmood sees it, beauty has the ability to change and interrupt our lives and cause us to reflect, -it is ultimately disruptive and provocative. Realizing that “if you stare at anything beautiful long enough it becomes ugly,” his aim is to examine its meaning beyond the surface and artifice. To him, the resistance that a piece creates is what makes it attractive.
Self-taught in art, Syed Shoaib Mahmood has attended a sculpture course at J.J.School Of Arts, Mumbai, India, 2015. In 2015 and 2016 he has participated in group exhibitions at Public Art Exhibit, Mumbai; The J.J. School Of Arts, Mumbai; and The Patna Art Fair, Patna. In 2016 his work was presented in a solo exhibition at The Kings & Queens Gallery, Mumbai. He has worked for two years as an Artist for The Kings & Queens Gallery, Bandra, Mumbai; and also worked for one year as tattoo design consultant at The Kings & Queens Studio. Mahmood has worked on several art commissions from art collectors in Mumbai and Delhi.