b. Cairo, Egypt 1985
Email : maialshazly@gmail.com

Mai Al Shazly is an Egyptian visual artist working with photography, video, and installation. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently exhibiting her collective work at Biennale Africaine de la photographie at BAMAKO, receiving both a video art and experimental film production award through Goethe Institute Kairo in collaboration with Contemporary Image Collective, as well as a production funding grant through the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Cairo(2016).

Mai’s work tries to evoke the restrictions that human being experience in their life, her work revolves around this topic,she focuses on the identity and it’s relationship to surrounding environmental (e.g., city’s size, urban density, location) and political issues(e.g., regimes stability and authority). She has exhibited her work at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in United Kingdom (2017), Institute Francais Egypte in Cairo (2017), Second Street Gallery and Sewanee University in United States(2015-2016), the Goethe Institute Kairo (2014), and Al-Madina Theater in Beirut(2014. Currently she lives and work in Cairo.

Download Mai's CV here. 
Artist's portfolio here

Much of my work tries to evoke the restrictions that human being experience in their life, all my ideas revolve around this topic. I focus on the identity and its relationship to surrounding environmental (e.g., city’s size, urban density, location) and political issues (e.g., regimes stability, authority and hegemonic). Express these ideas through photography, videos and installations. 

In my recent project THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GIANT SLAB, address urban politics and how they affect human behavior and psychology. Exploring the concept of marginality and separation as effects of political actions, through an imaginary text imagining how the physical structure separates communities socially.

Moving along the same current, I have continued investigating the relationship between identity and affect and their relationship to the surrounding circumstances. As part of collective project titled CAIRO BATS, I have assembled a series of photographs taken on rooftops in the city in order to re-examine the role of women across the city and redefine how we navigate and defy the limitation of the everyday life. The images capture the group act, as if this urban stage was an improvisational theatre. The performative intervention evolved in response to architectural features in chosen place and objects we find, the theme of exploring the absence and presence in relationship to given circumstances, and the photographs explore not only space but at night, different light sources join the cast and underline the interplay between visible and invisible. The roof is the margin of domestic order, finding its place between the private and public.

More recently, I had an art residency in Switzerland and the work I came up with during my stay titled THE THIRD TRACE. Engage with the physical and cultural landscape in attempt to determine contextual definitions related to the identity of a given place. The work seeks to redefine the geographical and cultural identity through the forsaken places in the south region of Switzerland. Mountain ranges as a physical structure that separate communities physically and socially a part, by creating a visual dialogue between the body and these environments. Through experimental performance to interact with the material and visual culture.

Using Format