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>    Collaborators:
Kasra Goodarznezhad (artist name: Cassra)

>    Residencies & Exhibitions:  
SíM Residency, Iceland (2023)

This project invites a group of collaborators from diverse disciplines to gather in different cities and reflect on rhythm as a common theme.

The first phase of Rhythmanalysis started in Iceland during a month-long residency in collaboration with Kasra Goodarznezhad (artist name: Cassra), a new media artist working in performance and installation. We used Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis: Time and Everyday Life as a guide to research our shared questions about rhythm and daily life. Our encounter was enriched by our individual interests and what transpired was a meeting of contrasting yet complementing rhythms; internal and external, metropolitan and oceanic, private and public.

For me, this experience involved developing a keen attunement to the rhythm of landscape and oceanic tides, and to drawing parallels between structures inside the human body and external ones in nature. My research questions were internally-oriented; I was curious to explore variations in the rhythm of bones - independently, in relationship to one another and to the external world. As I placed my body in different spaces, I observed the relationship it fosters with its changing environments and the dialogues that emerged between body and space.

Every day, I practiced repetition in different forms: I drew a human vertebra every morning, I followed the same path along the ocean, I documented my rhythm in a diary, and I explored repetitive motifs in my dance practice.

While I delved inwards to the core of bones, and took my practice to a literal cave, Cassra focused on external themes such as the spectacle and the capitalist economy of attention, the process of accepting/rejecting rules when entering a new space or society, documenting changes in body gestures in different spaces, and capturing arrhythmia and disorder. He played with the rhythm of video-editing, inspired by the archive of rhythms we documented and observed in the Icelandic landscape and everyday life.

Together, we posed questions such as: What does it mean to be seen and to be watched? How can we make use of the uselessness of art? What do we remember from the geography of our home cities (Tehran for Cassra & Cairo for me) and what do we retain from the chaos they represent? We presented our creations in the form of an installation that invites participants to walk through an abstracted hand-drawn map of our walks in Iceland, watch two videos, and browse through a collection of rhythm diaries.

I plan to continue this research with a focus on Mediterranean and Oceanic cities, and the rhythms that animate them, while collaborating with artists from different disciplines to look for where our interests intersect.

︎︎︎ more about the project from Cassra’s perspective + in an interview conducted with us both at the SíM Residency





about me

Mona El Husseini is a dancer and visual artist, based between Montreal and Cairo. She completed her dance education at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC) in Egypt and studied International Business and Contemporary Dance at Concordia University.

Mona choreographs and performs her own artistic projects, she collaborates with other artists as a choreographer and performer, and she also teaches contemporary dance, barre, and pilates. Her pieces have been performed in Egypt, Germany, Italy, and Canada.

In 2023, Mona premiered Creatrix, a dance duet with her mother, and published Family Portraits, a graphic memoir and visual art series at the MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels). She is currently developing Monday or Tuesday, a dance solo, and Rabbet Manzel // House Goddess, a visual art series - both of which were presented at upRising Up festival in Puglia, Italy, in 2022.

In 2018, Mona had a performing role in When Arabs Danced, a TIFF- and FIFA-featured documentary film by Jawad Rhalib, and in 2022, she was the lead actress in ‘Gigi’ and in ‘Mango’, two short films by director Randa Ali. That same year she choreographed ‘Mama,’ a theatre piece by Nathalie Doummar, which was presented at Théâtre Duceppe and at Festival Juste Pour Rire in Montreal.

Mona is the current recipient of the Conseil des Arts de Montréal (CAM) + Montréal, Arts Interculturels (MAI) Alliance joint support program.

Artistic Approach

In her artistic process, Mona goes beyond dance and traces the thread that connects the different art forms she practices including martial arts, visual arts, and writing. She is interested in how stories are transmitted, shared, and told through the body across generations. She finds the dance in the encounter between the intimate and the collective, the traditional and the contemporary, and in the space where the inner and outer meet.


PHOTO 02 BY: Hana Gamal
WEBSITE BY: Valerie Arif & Mariam Khattab

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