History, nostalgia, fascism and desire - Palestine between reality and fiction- Artist talk and video screenings

June 16, 2009


This event presented 4 experimental video works by the artist. Her works are derived from a persistent confusion of fact & history with fiction & fantasy, the program of videos use language, text, sound, still and moving images to examine history, nostalgia, fascism, and desire.

Total duration: approximately 40 minutes.

Occupied, 2004. 3 minutes Short performance for video.

Untitled, 2005. 2 minutes Short performance for video.

Everywhere was the same, 2007. 12 minutes

A slideshow of abandoned spaces carries along the story of two girls who mysteriously turn up on the shores of a pre-apocalyptic paradise. Weaving in and out of fact and fiction, the story of a massacre unfolds only to be silenced by unresolved melancholic nostalgia. ( English language )

We began by measuring distance, 2009. 19 minutes

Long still frames, text, language, and sound are weaved together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements transition into political ones, drawing to an examination of how image and sound communicate history, tragedy, and the complication of Palestinian nationalism. The work explores an ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.  (English subtitles)

Basma alSharif was born in 1983 in Kuwait; she spent her early childhood in Brittany in France. She earned her BFA &MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Art & Design, USA and was a guest student at the Malmö Art Academy, Lund University Sweden in 2004. She taught as an adjunct instructor at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the American University in Cairo.

Selected exhibitions, 2009: 9th edition of Sharjah Biennial awarded 2nd Jury Prize, the UAE; Art Park Art Dubai, the UAE; Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival, USA, 2008: Palestine Film Week Al-Balad Theater Amman, JORDAN; Chicago Palestine Film Festival Gene Siskel Film Center, USA;  The Jerusalem Show, PALESTINE; Dokufest, International Documentary & Short Film Festival, KOSOVO, 2007: images du moyent-orient, Musee Jeu Du Paume Paris, FRANCE; Cinema East Film Festival ARTEAST IFC theater, NYC USA; MFA Thesis exhibition Gallery 400, USA; Chicago Filmmakers: Interludes and Magic Light, USA, 2005 Gallery Peep, SWEDEN.

The artist residency was part of Bait Makan: residency and exchange programe for Arab artists funded by the Arab fund for Arts and Culture