Video Performance Artist Tamara Al-Mashouk

November 2017, Koodeta turned one. To mark a wildly successful year, the women of Koodeta planned a massive surprise: commissioning artist Tamara to create a custom work to be revealed at midnight. Check out the video here. Tamara is a video artist with a background in architecture- a combination that makes for large scale multi channel video installations. Keeping it simple isn’t in her dictionary. Three years ago, as a member of an arts collective based in Massachusetts, USA, Tamara founded the annual Fractalfest Fine Art Gallery (FFAG). FFAG is unprecedented- it is an all female line up of gallery quality fine art on 1.5 acres of forest at a 1500 person music and arts festival in Upstate New York curated by Tamara. “With FFAG I wanted to free fine art of its white walls, to throw it in a space where people are open and to allow them to touch the art, lick the art, really engage with the art.” Koodeta first approached Tamara about a possible commission in August, the two share a commitment to high quality work in unconventional environments and giving representation to female identifying persons. The work is a two channel video installation with a 3 hour live video performance. It transforms this particular Koodeta into an audio visual experience where neither takes center stage. Where the artist seems to illustrate our minds eye live as it manifests and mutates. Ten minutes to midnight, the crew disperses into their predetermined places, each person responsible for one action in a choreographed set of maneuvers planned by the artist. The crowd is ushered into the main space and the tension builds. The stage lights dim, the previously thumping sounds of techno quiet. Midnight, a second of silence, absolute darkness. A semi transparent black screen flows down seamlessly to cover the DJs and the live video performance begins. The audience’s awe is palpable as every woman throws her hands up. The videos seem to float as the screens blackness recedes and only the white in the projected imagery intensifies. The effect is stunning- almost holographic. Three minutes in, another surprise- the screen drops to the ground revealing a second projection surface behind the DJs. The audience is enthralled. The video work creates a narrative that builds over three hours beginning with the artist’s film noir interpretation of Koodeta’s past themes and weaving the crowd through a black and white chiaroscuro journey. A particularly memorable series of Brutalist architecture stands out as a commentary on Koodeta’s raw and unpretentious atmosphere creating parallels between the symptoms of an architectural style and Koodeta’s sensibility. The work draws you in, it allows you to simultaneously lose yourself in self reflexivity and maintain a critical eye and it is to the artist’s credit that in a dark warehouse, while listening to techno, the audience is treated to an experience akin to a video art show at a top notch gallery.