Esmaa Mohamoud (Canadian, b. 1992), is a Toronto based African Canadian artist. She holds a BFA from Western University (2014) and an MFA from OCAD University (2016). Mohamoud has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts Montreal. Recent exhibitions include: To the Hoop: Basketball and Contemporary Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG, Greensboro, NC, USA and Human Capital, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK, Canada. Upcoming projects and exhibitions include: Artworks TO Year of Public Art, Toronto; The Bentway, Signature Public Art Commission, Toronto; and Garmenting: Costume and Contemporary Art, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY, USA. Currently on view: Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play In The Face of Certain Defeat, Art Gallery of Hamilton - travelling through 2023, organizing by Museum London (publication forthcoming). Mohamoud will be participating in 2021’s Black Rock Senegal Artists-in-Residence program, taking place in Dakar, Senegal. Launching soon: Esmaa Mohamoud, The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us By Us), mural for Scotiabank Contact Festival, Toronto, Canada. Esmaa Mohamoud is a multidisciplinary artist whose work investigates Black body politics, depicting aesthetically the paradoxes of Blackness, its hypervisibility and invisibility, concerning herself with the ways in which racialized bodies navigate spaces as figures where complex gender and racial dynamics are confronted, performed and reimagined. Through a range of media which includes photography, sculpture, installation and performance, her powerful imagery suggests deeper forces at play in games like basketball and football, exploring how race and sports (institutions that commoditize and dehumanize Black life) also function together as a means of social mobility and protest. Drawing on materials from the industries of sport, construction and fashion, from used football helmets and textiles, to concrete and re-purposed metal chains, Mohamoud unveils how the plantation slavery system and its post-slave expressions have both defied and supported conditions of human bondage (both mental and physical), yet also build communities of resistance and resiliency.
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