07: Alsharif / Hopinka / Smith
A dialogue between new audiovisual works, older or rediscovered films and videos by artists and filmmakers who work in the expanded field of moving image practice.
The films and videos of Basma Alsharif explore the subjective experience of political landscape, investigating the links between a geographical space and its mental representation. Born in Kuwait of Palestinian origin, Alsharif’s nomadic existence – brought up in France and the United States, she has lived in Beirut, Amman and Cairo and is currently based between Los Angeles and Paris – is deeply embedded in her work, which often experiments with ideas of bi-location and the figure of the double. Unable to travel to Palestine, in Deep Sleep (2014) Alsharif uses self-hypnosis and multiple image layers as a way to be in two places at the same time and reach, if only through the medium of film, her native land. Whether working with photography, film, video, sound, text or language, the representation of Palestine as a place where the constant feeling of threat and the ever-changing geographical borders produce a sense of unreal is a crucial subject in Alsharif’s work and her on-going interrogation of the relationship between history and the human condition.
This two-part programme, co-curated with Alsharif, begins with a selection of her early videos, which are presented in dialogue with work by British filmmaker John Smith and Native American artist Sky Hopinka. In the second part, three recent works by Alsharif are accompanied, contextualised and challenged by contemporary films by American artists and filmmakers Mary Helena Clark, Claudrena Harold & Kevin Jerome Everson, Michael Robinson and Mike Stoltz.