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Taha Belal’s work mines the bureaucratic debris from his day job at the family business where he is engulfed in an abundance of papers, tinted glass, plastic laminates, advertising matter, faux wood paneling and sticky, pleather roller chairs under an omnipresent white-blue fluorescent lighting. Drawing from these surroundings he makes works by pushing the accumulation of layers and peeling away at the greasy surfaces to bring into relief the superficiality of these elements and render them, for a moment, ineffable.

This body of work further explores the artist’s state of confinement within the setting of an overbearing company office. The work relays the pervasiveness of his surrounding elements and objects and the artist’s mechanism to escape them through a process of dissociative immersion. An obsession takes the form of neurotic repetition, thecompression/decompression of machinery that stand in the limbo of a digital design, the minute slicing of forms into abstraction and a relentless redaction of rational information, where the work becomes an embodiment of materials through rituals of futile labor. 

Belal’s practice is labor-intensive, delicate and spectral. His materials retain a roughness and still bear errors: smudges, scratches, dirt and fingerprints on items that, like money, are passed through many hands. He attempts to subvert the glib authority of common, mass-produced and disposable objects. It is a deconstructive formal investigation of the exchange of daily language and images and how they can come to exist and be seen as more than one thing at once.

Gypsum, Kairo
Aleya Hamza

3 Rd. 218, Degla Maadi
11519 Cairo

+20 100 100 6363