Mirak Jamal: Running Man, 1999-2011. Video, 9:14 min, image courtesy the artist and OtherIS.
In his performative video project entitled Running Man, ongoing since 1991, Mirak Jamal tells a story of a life that runs through many places, but in the same pace of a Running Man dance routine, first recorded with a group of children at the basement community center in Cologne, Germany, in 1991. Since then, Jamal has been performing these dance steps at various sites over the years — in 2011, he created episodes of Running Man in front of the Marx and Engels monument in Berlin; on a boat in Amsterdam; and near his parents’ home in Toronto. The artist notes his realization of “how emphasized small gestures become in a setting of monotonous repetition. And how at times the narcissism of the “I” gets coincidentally reversed into a secondary role through accidental interplays of the background. I wish to embellish in the project at large the dissolution, through repetition and misplacement, of a symbolic act and embody a singular dimension comprised of a past/present/future.”