As part of the group show, Psychic Geograhies, Urban Video Project is pleased to present Basma Alsharif’s We Began by Measuring Distance.

About the Work
We Began by Measuring Distance
Total Run Time: 20:00

Alsharif describes her work:
“Long still frames, text, language, and sound are woven together to unfold the narrative of an anonymous group who fill their time by measuring distance. Innocent measurements transition into political ones, examining how image and sound communicate history. We Began by Measuring Distance explores an ultimate disenchantment with facts when the visual fails to communicate the tragic.”

Blending ambiguous but evocative images of a natural world mediated by culture, documentary footage of violence in Palestine, and staged performances of measurement in an unidentified archetypal landscape, Alsharif complicates the essentialist image of the MIddle East in the popular imagination of the West and explores the tension between the landscape of lived experience and the territory. We Began by Measuring Distance interweaves tonal registers as discordant as wry absurdism, cool structuralist detachment, and bare emotion to construct a remarkably compelling meditation on both abstract and concrete forms of violence perpetrated on land in order to transform it into the territory of the political nation-state.

About the Artist
Born in Kuwait in 1983, Basma Alsharif is a visual artist using moving and still images, sound, and language, to explore the anonymous individual in relation to political history and collective memory. She received an MFA from the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2007 and has been working in Cairo, Beirut, and Amman since then.

Her work has shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally including the 17th SESC Videobrasil, Forum Expanded: Berlinale, Images Festival Ontario where she received the Marion McMahon Award, Manifesta 8 The Region of Murcia, The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, The 9th Edition of the Sharjah Bienniale where she received a jury prize for her work, the Toronto International Film Festival, Conversations at the Edge (Chicago), and she was awarded the Fundación Marcelino Botín Visual Arts Grant in 2009-2010.

Visit Basma Alsharif’s website

Return to Psychic Geographies main page.