Basir Mahmood is the second Visiting Artist as part of SAI’s Arts Program. He will spend four days at Harvard next week, where he will give a public seminar, tour museums, meet with students and faculty, and attend classes.
Using video, film and photographs, Mahmood’s work weaves together various threads of thoughts, findings and insights into poetic sequences, building various forms of narratives. In order to engage with situations around him, he ponders upon embedded social and historical terrains of the ordinary, as well as his personal milieu.
SAI recently spoke to Mahmood about his work, and what he hope to learn during his time at Harvard.
SAI: What are your main influences and what are you inspired by when you’re creating your work?
Basir: For me it has been a process. I decided to be an artist quite late. My brother and sister actually wanted to be artists and were pursuing it but couldn’t live through it. So for art, my motivation was drawing. That’s how I got into it and I’ve fallen in love with it over time.
Drawing gave me the opportunity to put my skills on display, to see what I could do. Then I started to do sculptures. I went to the Beconhouse National University, which opened the doors of contemporary art, modern art and it made me realize that though I am working here, I am part of a bigger structure, and I realized the scale of it and tried to understand what was going on in the world.
I have been influenced by a lot of different things. My background is with sculptures and I started doing theatre performances and I started writing dramas for theatre, and then I started to film as well.