Shiraz Bayjoo, Pran Kouraz, 2019. Single channel video, four sculptural costumes, four-panel fabric print, 150 x 300cm. Commissioned by Art Night and Institute of International Visual Arts. Courtesy the Artist.
Born in Port Saint-Louis (Mauritius), lives and works between London and Mauritius
Shiraz Bayjoo studied at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (1998-2001). He is a multidisciplinary artist working with video, painting, photography, installation and performance. His research-based practice investigates the legacy of European colonialism using personal and public archives. It also addresses cultural memory and postcolonial nationhood in a manner that challenges dominant cultural narratives.
Bayjoo was an artist in residence at Whitechapel Gallery in 2011, the Institute of International Visual Arts in 2015, he was also recipient of the Triangle Network fellowship in 2016. His participation in the 4th Biennale Internationale de Casablanca (2018) was followed by a solo exhibition entitled ‘Searching for Libertalia’ at New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2019), curated by Cindy Sissokho. Recently, he also participated in Sharjah Biennale 14 (2019) and Dhaka Art Summit (2020).
For the 5th BIC, Shiraz Bayjoo will present a new installation following from Pran Kouraz (Take Courage) (2019), a collaborative mixed-media work co-commissioned by Art Night 2019 and the Institute of International Visual Arts. The installation explores notions of migration and displacement through a 13-minute 16mm film made with pupils from a London primary school. The work deals with young people’s rights whilst considering their own experiences and stories of courage and overcoming. Occupying a unique non-politicised position, the children are able to critique the myriad of experiences and treatment facing trans-migratory groups today, from their own experiences of isolation, loss and displacement.
Through readings of abolitionist poetry, and 17-century fiction on Empire and class, the students have voiced the importance of agency in the world they are to inherit. Bayjoo places this against his own image of flight and resistance from Mauritius, once known as the Maroon republic. The story of the Maroon becomes a wider metaphor for journeys of escape, overcoming and ultimately the transformation of self.
The new piece created by Bayjoo will embed itself within the Moroccan context and include a creative workshop involving participants from Casablanca.
Shiraz Bayjoo is represented by Ed Cross Fine Art