M.O.O.P. is a piece of plastic that has a sense of touch. It's a banana on a marble plinth in a museum, and a fried egg floating mysteriously in the air. It is Gatorade poured all over Coach, and a bulk order of 700 ping pong balls for $4.99. M.O.O.P. is wearing your socks on your hands for aSunday stroll in the park, and a feral parrot flying through the skies of Los Angeles. M.O.O.P. is making the imaginary collide with the real. It is a whole spectrum of colors where they shouldn't be. M.O.O.P. is humans on Earth. M.O.O.P. is MATTER OUT OF PLACE.
For his debut solo exhibition with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, titled M.O.O.P. (Matter Out of Place), Masood Kamandy presents 11 large-scale photographic C-prints. Influenced by a wide range of sources, including art historical, philosophical and anthropological theories, Kamandy's photographs reveal everyday items transformed and given strange new life through interventions of various kinds. Focusing on the matter before the camera, Kamandy intervenes at multiple points as he creates a picture, bringing ambiguity to the process and disrupting traditional perceptions of what the objects and their photographic representation are supposed to be. Whether writing and employing his own customized software or physically manipulating the objects in his studio, Kamandy's philosophy accepts that all photography is manufactured wherever the intervention is located. For him, every photograph offers the opportunity to redefine what photography is.
Matter is always inherently in flux in the medium of photography; objects are changed in the process through a translation effect. Masood Kamandy is part of a new generation of artists for whom the pixel is prima materia - a picture's fundamental element. Where the root of photography was once silver halides, Kamandy is more at ease with pixels. While the chemistry has been replaced, the alchemy is the same. The photographs in M.O.O.P. are an exploration of matter and the multiple forms and transformations that allow these material objects to be experienced and perceived anew. For Kamandy, photography functions as a series of entry steps from the moment the object is selected to the final printed image. These photographs are his way of exploring matter's expansive meaning and the transition that an object must go through to become a photograph.
Masood Kamandy (b. 1981, Colorado) is a Los Angeles-based artist. He received his MFA from the University of California Los Angeles (2012) and his BFA from the School of Visual Arts (2004). In 2012, Kamandy participated in dOCUMENTA (13) with dual projects in Kassel, Germany and Kabul, Afghanistan. Kamandy also helped found the first photography department at Kabul University (2002-05). He has presented solo exhibitions in Los Angeles and The Netherlands and has been featured in group exhibitions at the UCLA New Wight Gallery (Los Angeles, 2012), The Torrance Art Museum (2012), and Control Room (Los Angeles, 2011), among other venues. Kamandy is an Art Director's Club "Young Gun" (2006), and his work has been published in American Photography Annual (2010, 2008) and The New York Times Magazine. Kamandy works as an arts educator in both Los Angeles and Kabul, Afghanistan.
Masood Kamandy's artworks are in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the US State Department's Office of Art in Embassies, as well as numerous private collections.