Basma Alsharif — Jill Glessing

[Summer 2019]

Basma Alsharif, Trompe l’œil (2016), A Philistine (2018), The Story of Milk and Honey (2011), installation view, photo : Tom Arban Photography Inc.

Basma Alsharif, Trompe l’œil (2016), A Philistine (2018), The Story of Milk and Honey (2011), installation view, photo : Tom Arban Photography Inc.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto
February 14–April 14, 2019

By Jill Glessing

[Excerpt]
Basma Alsharif asks a question for our time. Increasing human migration prompted by wars and climate change means, for many, an experience of cultural displacement. Born in Kuwait to Palestinian refugee parents who had fled Israeli occupation, Alsharif migrated first to France then to the United States. Her continuing nomadic existence informs her art production. As a person of diaspora, struggling with questions of identity and alienated from the seemingly endless Palestinian struggle, she asks, If oppressive power relations – such as those between states, ethnicities and genders – can’t be eliminated, how else might we claim our freedom? In her exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Alsharif pursues these themes through intricate but playful combinations of photography, video, film, and text. Reflecting the artist’s discomfort with borders, her themes and materials mingle and overlap through four installations on MOCAs expansive third floor…

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