SAID DOKINS (MX)
Said Dokins (Mexico, 1983) lives and works in Mexico City. He studied at the School of Arts and Design (ENAP) in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has also studied traditional calligraphy with well-known national and international calligraphers. He has been actively creating graffiti and street interventions since the 1990’s.
Dokins explores formally, symbolically and philosophically the potentiality of words and letters. In his work, they become gestures, traces that overlap creating patterns, textures, narratives; marks that carve sites, drawing boundaries and producing meaning. In that sense, for Dokins calligraphy and graffiti are a way to understand our relations with language, an action that stresses time, space and memory, a political enunciation.
These reflections become evident in Apparitions (2011), an installation that explores the tension between memory and concealment regarding to the victims of political “disappearances” (i.e. clandestine and unclarified abductions) in Mexico. This piece, exhibited for the first time in The House of Indomitable Memory in Mexico City, has been honored with the Iberoamerican Contemporary Art Creation Prize, 2015.
Dokins has won international attention for his monumental murals in public space. One of the latest, Chalchihuite (2017), is a calligraphic intervention created for the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) and the biggest mural in Munich at over 1200 square meters. His mural interventions often address social and political issues, like The Order Crumbles (2016), painted in Mexicali at the border between Mexico and United States, or American Women Fighter (2016), a mural for Coachella Walls Festival, where he included the names of women and collectives from the Americas that have fought for their civil rights.
He is best known for his unique calligraphic style, which combines elements from Western and Asian Calligraphic traditions with pre-phonetic writing references, Mesoamerican Pre-Hispanic symbolism and graffiti. However, his artistic practice involves several disciplines and media such as calligraphy, graffiti, installation, performance and video art, among others.