Diyar Mayil is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation and performance. Her work explores the public life of marginalized bodies. Safety, accessibility, visibility, and the acceptance of different bodies in public, are recurring subjects in her art-making practice. She holds a BFA from Concordia University and is currently pursuing her MFA. She lives and works in Montreal.
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The presence of marginalized bodies in society and how these bodies locate, function and exhibit themselves in public tells us so much about that society. Safety, accessibility, visibility, and the acceptance of different bodies in public are recurring subjects in Diyar Mayil’s art making practice. She investigates what bodies do, where they exist, and how they adapt and exhibit themselves. She explores notions of comfort, discomfort, adaptation and the physical and social functions of the body, especially how it manifests itself in everyday life. Her sculptural works and performances take the form of spatial or bodily modifications made by creating purposeful dysfunctions. Her practice creates opportunities through which we can explore, question and experience an altered relationship with our bodies, with space, with artwork and with one another.
As our bodies are not solely the product of nature but also of culture, the functions our bodies have are not only physical. In fact, the social forces imposed on bodies have nuanced complexities that can manifest themselves in different ways. Because these inscriptions of power on the human body and its movements are so successful, they remain hidden, even natural. Sceptical of the possibility of removing, or even locating, the specific oppressive powers that we incorporate into our bodies, Mayil chooses to locate her practice within the realms of aesthetics and play. She aims to distort the distortion of our bodies, creating gaps and schisms within the systems our bodies have created in an effort to adapt to power. Her work strives to reverse this logic of social adaptation by creating adaptations that flow in the opposite direction, adaptations that promote social, intellectual, and bodily awareness in the participants/viewers through altering the everyday routines of our bodies.