Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam presents a solo exhibition by Basir Mahmood (b. 1985, Lahore, Pakistan; based in Amsterdam and Lahore). Mahmood works in video and photography, between the spontaneous document and staged scenes, weaving various threads of thoughts, findings and insights into poetic sequences and forms of narrative. He increasingly invites others into the formulation and execution of his works.
For Good ended happily, Mahmood screens the 2018 video work of the same name. Shot in Lahore, the work was made with a film crew associated with Pakistan’s Lahore-based film industry, known as Lollywood. The crew were assigned the task of recreating and filming the after-images of the American Special Forces operation that resulted in the death of the infamous Al Qaeda supremo, Osama Bin Laden.
The artist left the execution of the film to the imagination of his crew, allowing them space to reproduce the events as they saw fit. Where the artist only observed the process of recreation that he initiated, his collaborators worked to form a narrative around the said event. Throughout making of the work, including the filming part, the cameraman, his assistant and the director of action wore collar mics as they worked to create fiction. The process of recreation soon started to form its own reality. This new reality rested between the factuality of the actual event and its fictive, and thus, imperfect reproduction; and, between the intention of the artist and its interpretation by the collaborators as they tried to resolve it into a work.
This is the second collaboration the artist has made with Lollywood crew. During its heyday, the industry was among the largest film industries in the world. Since around 1977, however, it began a dramatic collapse into creative banality, intellectual decadence and popular irrelevance. Today, it maintains a limited, almost peripheral existence in the arena of Pakistan’s socio-cultural production.
Basir Mahmood has undertaken residencies at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (NL) and Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (DE). His work has been presented in exhibitions including the 10th Berlin Biennial, Contour Biennale 8, Mechelen (BE) and Tableaux Vivants, Foundation Etrillard, Paris (FR) 2017; the Abraaj Group Art Prize (UAE) and Yinchuan Biennial (CN) 2016; Time of others, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (JP) 2015; Sharjah Biennial 11 (UAE), 2013; Asia Pacific Triennial 7, Queensland Art Gallery (AU); III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Russia, 2012; and The Garden of Eden, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2012.
The exhibition opens Saturday 17th November from 5 – 7pm. The exhibition runs until January 20th, 2019. The gallery is open Friday through Sunday from 1 – 6pm and by appointment. For further information and visuals, please contact the gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org or +31(0)104126459.