1-Channel Video Installation
1 min 13 seconds
Mashael Al Saie’s film voices the ineffable relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. Her work pronounces the exchange of love, kindness and playful finger-wagging in the form of voice-notes carried alongside graceful visuals. However loving these messages are, they also convey a sense of claustrophobia by repetitive motions of articulating beauty and idealized self-presentation. This video is an extension of Mashael’s photo series: “Shaar Banat”, where she explores ritualistic practices of beauty and self-fashioning amongst Arab women.
In this video, Mashael transports the viewer to memories of her upbringing where hair oiling was a beauty ritual passed down in her family as a method to tame coarse hair. The two female figures in the video perform the hair oiling ritual, showcasing a bond of sisterhood and intimacy. The cadence of her grandmother’s voice, the structure of the messages overlapping, the distant and tender communications peppered with Bahrain colloquialisms display an affection that can only be provided by a maternal figure.