Basma Alsharif: Doppleganging

Detail of Farther by Basma Alsharif.

Detail of Farther by Basma Alsharif. Provided

Basma Alsharif, born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, is a visual artist working between cinema and installation. Alsharif has developed her practice nomadically between the Middle East and Europe since 2007. Informed by placeless-ness, her videos explore the human condition in relation to the subjective experience of political landscapes, history, and the unforeseeable future. The Palestinian conflict has been a point of reference in which Alsharif challenges the function of representation. She creates complex soundtracks and employs various languages, texts, images, mediums, and formal strategies to transmit information through the visceral experience of the moving image. 

Showing in film festivals, biennales, and gallery exhibitions, Alsharif’s work won her a jury prize at the age of 25 in the 9th Sharjah Biennial. She went on to be receive the Marion McMahon Award at Images Festival, was awarded the Fundación Marcelino BotínVisual Arts Grant in 2009–10 and this past summer was a guest artist of the Flaherty Film Seminar in Hamilton, New York. Her titles include the following short films and installations: Home Movies Gaza, Farther Than the Eye Can See, The Story of Milk and Honey, We Began by Measuring Distance, Turkish Delight, and Everywhere was the Same. Raised in France followed by the U.S., she earned an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois–Chicago.

Alsharif’s talk, Doppleganging, will revolve around the idea and practice of Bilocation (the act of being in two places simultaneously). Normally used to describe a supernatural process, it is a technique she uses to define the concept of the Palestinian identity in relation to a fractured landscape and contemporary condition that has absorbed perpetual geopolitical shifts. From this, artists can explore what "position" means to them as artists, who and where they are when they make work and look at work today, in the globalized world.

Cosponsored by the Department of Performing and Media Arts and the Society for the Humanities.