Having had the pleasure of working with Basma Alsharif as part of All Our Memories Significant in Retrospect, I am excited to engage her practice again, this time as part of an exhibition at A Space Gallery, co-curated with Erik Martinson, entitled This Story Begins and Ends with Us. It opens next week, and Alsharif will be in Toronto for the exhibition’s closing week, 10-14 July 2012, facilitating a number of public events including a workshop at Trinity Square Video and a salon as part of No Reading After the Internet. Here are the official bits:

This Story Begins and Ends with Us
Basma Alsharif
01 June-14 July 2012
Artist Talk, Thursday, 12 July, 5 pm 
In conjunction with No Reading After the Internet
@ A Space Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 110
Curated by Erik Martinson & cheyanne turions

The Re-Enactments Workshop
Tuesday, 10 July, 10 am-5 pm 
Public Presentation Thursday, 12 July, 7-9 pm
@ Trinity Square Video, 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 376

A Space Gallery, the Images Festival, Pleasure Dome and Trinity Square Video are pleased to present This Story Begins and Ends with Us, an exhibition by artist Basma Alsharif. With a skillful play between moving images, text, translation and voice, the media work of Alsharif calls out the viewer’s position of watching, asking us to reconsider the certainty with which we know the world. Alsharif’s practice evinces an interest in how people relate to and internalize geo-political shifts that occur within their lifetimes, and those they carry with them from past generations. Weaving structural visual codes with material archives, her aim is to decentralize content and produce work that operates through a multi-vantage perspective, thereby transforming information into a visceral experience.

Curated by Erik Martinson and cheyanne turions, This Story Begins and Ends with Us will feature new and recent work by Alsharif, including The Story of Milk & Honey (2011), Turkish Delight (2010), We Began By Measuring Distance (2009), and Everywhere was the Same (2007). Alongside this showcase of Alsharif’s work will be Peer Pressure, a curatorial initiative by the artist, featuring a contextualization of her practice through the influence of her peers. What links these works together is the kind of questioning the artists perform in regards to their environments (physical, virtual and/or formal), and the way the artists push the boundaries of the mediums and genres they work in, thereby creating a kind of positive peer pressure.

The artist talk at A Space, in collaboration with No Reading After the Internet, will feature selections from Helter Skelter (1974), the true crime classic, which will be offered up as a way to examine an author’s or artist’s relationship to historical detail and corresponding ideas of accuracy.

Alsharif will also be leading a workshop at Trinity Square Video entitled The Re-Enactments. The workshop is aimed at artists interested in exploring issues outside of their practice or current projects. Participants will explore the functional uses of re-enactments within various societies, leading to a group exhibition that reflects the activities of the workshop. For more information and registration, please visit Trinity Square Video.

Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Basma Alsharif spent her early childhood in France, and then immigrated to the US after being denied residency. She received an MFA from UIC in 2007 and relocated to Egypt. Alsharif has since worked between the US, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates on multi-media and single channel installation works. Alsharif’s work has shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally.

Special thanks to the Canada Council for their support of this programming through their Visiting Foreign Artist program and to Circuit Gallery for their generous support in creating the artist’s prints.


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