Mamali Shafahi Iranian, b. 1982


A recurrent thread running through Mamali's projects since his first performances in France in the early 2000s has been a focus on transgression and testing limits, involving a reversal of roles between artist and others - participants, the public, and most recently his parents - to see how far the latter will go in their new role as protagonist. Artists have special powers: to take part in an art project, people can be persuaded to step far outside their usual perimeters, abandoning constraints, questioning taboos, challenging their preconceptions… The roles of artist and model, producer and consumer, subject and object, dominator and subordinate... are thus perverted. The participant or viewer takes an active role and the artist loses absolute control over the finished experience: artists and participants are changed or even transformed - in some cases, for life. This process of interaction, the blurring of boundaries between the artist and others, the shifting locus of power, the potentially perverse possibilities it opens up, underpin all of Mamali's practice, whatever the issue he is investigating: taboo and breaking taboos, narcissism and voyeurism, intergenerational exchange, domestic perversity, addiction and self-destruction, the impact of new technologies and 'post-body' immortality…


Mamali Shafahi (B.1982, lives in Amsterdam and Paris) is a film-maker and video installation artist. His practice, varying from installation to sculpture and film, includes a deep fascination with the impact of emerging technologies on life and art. His early work in France, at the Paris-Cergy school of fine arts, focused on performance. He then produced a number of video installations, and his investigation of relationships between past, present, future and emerging technologies led to the V[i]Rology installation at the Mohsen Gallery, in 2017. From 2014 to 2017 he worked on an experimental docu-fiction film, Nature Morte, involving his parents as both actors and digital characters, screened at Art Rotterdam, in Taiwan and London. In 2019 he made an installation combining his father's drawings with his own installation, sculptures and the film for City Princes/ses at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. His VR projects, with Ali Eslami, have featured at Het nieuwe instituut, Rotterdam, the Vancouver Biennale, IDFA film festival in Amsterdam and CPH DOX, Copenhagen.