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For a lifetime, renowned magician aladin has been privately researching the putative existence of a maverick magician of fabulous prowess and insight in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. mugh-al recovers and updates these speculative histories, framing them with the complex personal journey of aladin himself, a magician and interdisciplinary explorer operating with the indeterminate.
Deconstructing the customs, protocols and
rituals of Mughal courtly entertainment and
unearthing the sublime,
other-worldly prestidigitatory virtuosity
and social genius of the greatest
of the emperor's magicians, mugh-al
re-presents ‘magic show’ as
iconic and ironic divertissement, meshed
with wry threads of
contemporary, anachronistic and historical commentary.
On February 11, 2009 mugh-al was presented as as work-in-progress at London's
Brunei Gallery, for an audience
of pre-eminent Mughal scholars who had gathered for a ground-breaking, four-day
colloquium on the arts of the Mughal era organised by the Department of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London. On 25 October, 2009 an action research performance of mugh-al took place at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology. From September to December 2009 research on the project continued with the installation of aladin as 'genii-in-residence' at the extraordinary luxury space Sketch in London under the direct, personal patronage of its founder/creator Mourad Mazouz.
"The highlight of the symposium" (a leading Mughal scholar attending the SOAS event)
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Phase 1 research having taken place between February and December 2009 (not restricted to the special interventions in Hamburg and London cited above) mugh-al now continues to unfold as continuous work-in-progress, a series of events and collaborations with practitioners and institutions who are contributing to the development of the project.
The mugh-al team continues to invite and
evaluate proposals and
approaches regarding the project, including
offers to commission
or partner mugh-al. The project affords a rare opportunity to engage with the practice of an unique artist at the height their powers.
Please note that owing to the nature of the
project - in particular
confidentiality requirements of specific
hosting partners and patrons
– some event itinerary details may not be posted on this
website. In due course however, it is
intended that an historical,
retrospective account including documentation of mugh-al events,
will be made available.
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is evolving in discussion with a number of practitioners across disciplines. aladin gratefully acknowledges the invaluable input of the