Mandy El-Sayegh: assembled at Tell el Ajjul

February 8 - April 7, 2018 | TMR Guadalajara at PAOS (Guadalajara, Mexico) 


The Mistake Room is pleased to present the third exhibition of its TMR Guadalajara series in collaboration with PAOS. This iteration encompasses a new project by Malaysia-born, London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh (b. 1985). The show marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in Latin America. 

El-Sayegh's practice is perhaps best described as a genealogical endeavor that traces a body--both individual and communal--in perpetual becoming.  For El-Sayegh, the body and history shape each other, and as they change, the residues they leave behind manifest as memory. The task of genealogy for El-Sayegh is then not just to expose a historical body or the epistemic violence that forges it discursively, but rather to trace its transformations—mobilizing memory as source material to assemble complex layered trajectories that connect charged personal stories to historical circumstances and broader philosophical structures. Through the formal logics of painting, sculpture, installation, and performance, El-Sayegh expands the biographical into urgent conversations about Arab subjectivities and the colonial projects that continue to define them. 

Tell el Ajjul, the place El-Sayegh’s project title references, refers to an ancient archeological mound in Gaza—a site that for El-Sayegh functions as a beginning—personally, historically, ideologically, and materially. Her father's homeland is a charged site from which El-Sayegh negotiates a familial history that she didn't experience directly yet has somehow inherited through the stories, images, and behaviors she grew up around. El-Sayegh’s relationship to this past and this place as postmemory scholar Marianne Hirsch would state, is thus not mediated by remembrance, but rather by “imaginative investment, projection, and creation.” Through a new immersive installation, a series of intimate sculptural objects, and a suite of monumental paintings, El-Sayegh navigates the tensions that accompany grappling with the experiences of those who came before without letting those experiences overwhelm and potentially erase our own. 

 Mandy El-Sayegh: assembled at Tell el Ajjul  is organized by The Mistake Room in collaboration with PAOS and is  curated by Cesar Garcia, TMR's Executive and Artistic Director. 



Mandy El-Sayegh (b. Malaysia, 1985) received a BA in Mixed Media one Art from the University of Westminster, London (2007) and an MA in Painting from the Royal College o Art, London (2009). Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions such as Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj (2017); Taking Part, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2016); this is a sign, Carlos/Ishikawa, London (2016); Room Services, New York Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); For Pete’s Sake, Carl Kostyál, Stockholm (2016); RCA Painting Degree Show, Royal College of Art, London (2010) and Mash Experience, Oxford Street, London (2007). She lives and works in London.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by an anonymous donor.

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by The Mistake Room's Board of Directors, Big Mistake Patron Group, International Council, and Contemporary Council.

Special thanks to Sophie, Clara Dublanc, and Eduardo Sarabia.