Basir Mahmood

  • Atist In Residence2012
  • Born in1985 born in Pakistan
  • NationalityPakistan, Lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany
  • Websitehttp://basirmahmood.com
For the residence in ARCUS

My interest developed in Moriya city with time, after spending some days walking around the streets. The particular area of research I am focusing on is to see how this very new city is developing with time. Project is initiating from very factual statistics to a personal interpretation of an aesthetical change from landscape to a cityscape. The time of a residency will sum up in a video installation by the end of my stay.

Born in 1985, in Lahore, Pakistan. Mahmood completed his BFA with distinction from Beaconhouse National University in Pakistan in 2010, and received a one-year fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2011.

In order to engage with situations around him, he ponders embedded social and historical terrains of the ordinary, as well as his personal milieu. Using video, film or photography, Mahmood weaves thoughts, findings and insights into poetic sequences and various forms of narratives.

Since 2011, his works has been widely exhibited, including: The Garden of Eden, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2012; III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Russia, 2012; and Inaugural Show, Broad Museum, Michigan State University, 2012. He will also represent Pakistan at upcoming Asia Pacific Triennale (APT 7) at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 2012.

Basir Mahmood claims that the formal aspects of his works are easily accessible and the interpretation of these aspects are entirely depended on the viewers own subjective reference. Using this approach I would interpret his artworks as an ironic meta- comment on the contemporary art world in general and the artist's position within this world as an outsider who slowly transforms and becomes an insider: The slow aging of the "idols" or father figures, the attempt to try different cloths and styles or strategy and the general negation of a western context that once was the defining "mantra" and now feels just outworn. His works are cutting comments from someone who has a good background in contemporary discourse and considers himself part of it but still has the distance to play with it from an outsider point of view.

Tobias Berger


Basir Mahmood is a self-described “situational” artist who is interested in non-narrative documentary executed in various forms. In My Father (2010), a tight video shot is focused on a stationary sewing needle, held by an old man’s hand. For two minutes, he tries in vain to thread the needle—a frustrating repetition that creates a portrait of the artist’s father that poignantly explores subjectivity and mortality. Now Mahmood is interested in collaboration with other artists, and plans to use his residency with ARCUS to explore the aesthetics of documentary by looking to local people, public spaces, objects, and stories from daily life.

Eungie Joo


Basir Mahmood constructs pared down images that open up complex questions of belonging. Often using a reductive approach, his films hone in on particular gestures or situations to bring out the nuances of their essence. Engaging in observation of everyday life, or documenting staged situations, Mahmood pays great attention to detail as a way to address the larger issues at hand. I am intrigued to find out what images will catch his eye while working in Ibaraki.



Lisa Rosendahl

Selected WorksShow Image

Resident Artists 2012

Özgür Demirci  <Turkey>

Basir Mahmood  <Pakistan>

Eunju Yoo  <South Korea>