“Samira Elagoz weaves together performance and video, fiction and documentary, art and life, gravity and levity in an impressive and very surprising way.”
– Robert Kaltenhäuser, Blooom Awards
“...does not revolve around solely sexual, gender and social archeology but also tests formal limits of docu-reality setup and performance art.”
“I aim to view my life as cinematic, as material to be manipulated, to see reality as both subjective and malleable. Hoping to capture and form reality into a work that is unsettling and encourages discussion of an audiences own ethics and intimacy”
Samira Elagoz (1989, Helsinki) is a Finnish/Egyptian artist currently based in Amsterdam. She graduated in choreography from the Amsterdam University of the Arts in the spring of 2016. She has toured with her works in various international film and performance festivals.
In 2014 Elagoz won the visual art competition Blooom Award in Cologne with her first short “Four Kings”. Her documentary-performance Cock, Cock.. Who’s There? won the prestigious Prix Jardin d’Europe competition at Impulstanz 2017. And at Edinburgh Fringe it won the Total Theatre Awards for Emerging talent. It was also nominated for the BNG Bank Nieuwe Theatermakersprijs, competition for most promising young theatre maker in Holland. The German magazine Tanz nominated her as one of the most promising talents of 2017.
Her first feature film Craigslist Allstars had it’s premiere in 2016 at IDFA, world’s biggest festival for documentary, and was named by the press the most exciting film at the festival. The film was covered by Mubi, Cineuropa and Vice. It was nominated in the main competition for best international films at CPH:DOX 2017. It won the “Spirit Of CUFF” prize in 2017 at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. In 2017 she made a gallery work called The Young & The Willing and it was screened for example in the reputable White Chapel Gallery in London.
Elagoz’s work is very personal and at the same time close to important social and political debates of our times (sexual violence, male gaze, loneliness in digital age). The most indicative parts of her filmings are that she doesn’t use actors or performers, and that all subjects in her works are men. It bored her to see art history littered with the classical set up of male gaze, where woman is the passive object/muse of male artists, and so she decided to become a female artist portraying men. For the past few years she’s been building an extensive collection of first encounters arranged through various online platforms like Craigslist, Tinder and Chatroulette. It quickly became a research on the, often laughable, gender roles. Educated in performative arts, she incorporates aspects of this medium with that of video and film, creating her own unique brand of “docu-fiction”.
Samira spent her formative years in a village called Karkkila in Finland. Surrounded by forest, fields and little stimuli, she constantly tried to pervert her mind into divining interest. After escaping in her teens, she braved the world with an endlessly curious and devil may care attitude.
Artistic expression was a mainstay, and she decided on the simple dream of being a dancer. After studying for a year she could not help but find it unfulfilling to be someone else’s tool. Thus she quit and started to study choreography at the SNDO. Conceiving and directing her own works, she was finally in her element.
Initial expressions were dark, mysterious and cinematic performances, visually striking and surreal. When she started making film she wanted to do almost the opposite. Documentary, done in a raw and exposed way, in order to create real and tangible connections to her subjects. It all started by accident. A vocation she whimsically decided to pursue after having seen a cool guy at a bar, who she felt needed to be filmed.