The Mosaic Rooms presents Fantasies on a Found Phone, Dedicated to the Man Who Lost it, the first UK solo exhibition by Mahmoud Khaled. Through a series of unfolding installations and interventions, Khaled builds an immersive environment. He ambitiously transforms The Mosaic Rooms period, domestic architecture into the imagined dwellings of the owner of a lost phone. The work continues Khaled’s interest in historic house museums and the nostalgia and memorialising of individual perspectives found in them. In this new commission, the artist repositions this museological form in a contemporary queer lens to explore male identity and intimacy.
The artist notes: “the exhibition is a spatial portrait of an absent person revealed through the (quite strange) contents of the phone he left behind in a public bathroom. A mysterious portrait of a man with a passion for ‘décor’ and beauty, a highly eroticised man, afflicted with anxiety, insomnia, and melancholy at the same time.”
Khaled looks at this tension between desire and anxiety, dream and reality. He focuses on sleeplessness as a metaphor for political states of being, of not belonging, of being displaced. This sense of disquiet is experienced in the installation as we are aware of both the intimacy and artifice of the spaces. The visitor, as a voyeur, simultaneously feels at home and unsettled, and this state of sleeplessness permeates the space.