Maha Maamoun’s videos and photographs address the form and function of images that are found in mainstream culture. Her work acts as a lens through which we see familiar images in novel and insightful ways. She does that by making subtle interventions in photographic material that she captures on camera or borrows from various sources. Through an unusual crop, a seamless edit, an odd juxtaposition, an incongruent photomontage, a staged remake, Maamoun shakes up our expectations and toys with our perception.
Maamoun’s approach keeps a balance between what is studied and what is intuitive, leaving room for the incidental to play itself out. She freely mines the public domain for high and low brow images, respectively making videos that have consisted of YouTube footage of material shot live on mobile phone cameras during the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution, excerpts from bootleg copies of popular Egyptian films from the 1950s to the present and a remake of a single iconic image lifted from an experimental French film dubbed with a futuristic account of a different place.
With a keen eye for the absurd and a dark sense of humor, Maamoun’s work pulls on emotional, psychological and cerebral strings. She has been known to reflect on generic and overused national symbols and the ways in which they have been appropriated to construct personal narratives and collective histories. Since 2007, she has completed a succession of projects that take as their starting point the Pyramids of Giza as a visual and literary image
2016, 25:30 minutes, Colour, Arabic with English subtitles
2013, 04:45 minutes, Colour, Arabic with English subtitles
2011, 08:30 minutes, Colour, Arabic with English subtitles
2010, 09:00 minutes, Black & White, Arabic with English subtitles
2009, 62:00 minutes, Colour, Arabic with English subtitles
2008, 01:12 minutes, Colour, Arabic with English subtitles