I Never Wanted to Be Alone in a Room

20 March - 18 April 2010

BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gatshead, UK. 2010

I Never Wanted to Be Alone in a Room is an exhibition of two recent works by Mahmoud Khaled that examines notions of public and private space and the boundaries between the personal and the political. For As if You Weren't in your Own Home 2008, Khaled, armed with a small camera visited locations with personal associations in the city of Cairo the downtown square, train station, the banks of the Nile and night club boats. The resulting installation investigates self expression, social rituals and meaning in shared space. Safety Zoom 2009 is a video installation conceived around the filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s statement that ‘the problem is not to make political films, but to make films politically’. While filming a picturesque scene in London from a vantage point on the river, Khaled happened upon a small private yacht with a father, mother and two children on board. The artist was drawn to filming the boat, but caught the attention of the father who pointed his own digital camera back at Khaled. The resulting video reveals a complex set of relationships at play behind this fleeting, silent dialogue.