Kaya Behkalam is a visual artist and filmmaker, born in Berlin, Germany and living in Cairo, Egypt. He completed his PhD in Visual Arts from the Bauhaus University Weimar, after receiving his MFA in Media Art at the University of Arts Berlin. Since 2012 he has been an Assistant Professor of Art at the American University in Cairo where he is also the director of the Sharjah Art Gallery. Behkalam’s work, through installations, videos and text-based formations, explores entanglements of historiography, media and politics – particularly in the context of post-revolutionary Cairo.
Among other places his works have been shown at the HKW and Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Queens Museum New York, Townhouse Gallery Cairo, Reina Sofia Museum Madrid, Azad Gallery Tehran, Kunstverein Heidelberg, the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, IDFA Amsterdam and the Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. His film Excursions in the Dark has been awarded with the Dialogue Award 2012 at the European Media Art Festival EMAF. Kaya Behkalam has been a participating artist for the Framer Framed exhibitions Voices Outside the Echo Chamber in 2016 and The End Of This Story (And the Beginning of All Others) in 2015, both curated by Katayoun Arian.
He is the co-founder of the artist group RELOADING IMAGES, an initiative that works on collective projects of artistic research. His video-, installation- and text-based works explore the entanglements of historiography, image politics, performativity and perception. More recently, in 2018, Behkalam became the director of the non-profit art association Künstlerhof Frohnau, a studio space for artistic production in the North of Berlin.