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  • Artists

    Basma Alsharif

    Shadi Habib Allah

    Yazan Khalili

    Maurice Louca

    Jasmina Metwaly

    nasa4nasa

    Basma Alsharif

    Basma Alsharif is an artist and filmmaker, born in 1983 in Kuwait of Palestinian origin, raised between France, the US, and the Gaza Strip. She has a BFA and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Basma developed her practice nomadically, living and working in Chicago, Cairo, Beirut, Sharjah, Amman, the Gaza Strip, and Paris. Major exhibitions include: the Whitney Biennial, les Rencontres d’Arles, les Modules at the Palais de Tokyo, Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum, Al Riwaq Biennial Palestine, the Berlin Documentary Forum, the Sharjah Biennial, and Manifesta 8. She is a shortlisted artist of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2018, received a jury prize at the Sharjah Biennial 9, and was awarded the Marcelino Botin Visual Arts grant.

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    Basma Alsharif. Courtesy of the artist.
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    Deep Sleep, 2014, video still, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.
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    The Story of Milk and Honey, 2011, installation, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.
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    The Story of Milk and Honey, 2011, installation, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.
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    The Story of Milk and Honey, 2011, installation, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.
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    Döppelganging, 2014, performance at Sharjah Art Foundation, 2016, image courtesy Alfredo Rubio.
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    Trompe l'oeil, 2016, installation, image courtesy of Samuel Freeman Gallery, 2017.

    Selected proposal:

    The Philistine is centered around a handmade book that exists in English, Arabic, and French. A sixty-page novella incorporating history, science-fiction, and eroticism, it is accompanied by six stand-alone drawings and three photographs, two chairs with a coffee table, carpeting, and warm lighting. The viewer becomes a part of the work by sitting down to read the book. 

    The book tells the story of a character, the Philistine, taking the train from Lebanon to Egypt via Palestine after learning of her estranged father’s death; she is setting out to retrieve his belongings along the route. Beginning in the present and ending in 30 BC, the narrative rewrites the historical Haifa-Beirut-Tripoli Railway and Palestine Railways, suggesting what such a journey would be like today given that both lines were discontinued with the state of Israel’s creation in 1948. 

    Shadi Habib Allah

    Born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1977, Shadi Habib Allah received a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and an MFA from Columbia University. He was twice awarded second prize at the A.M. Qattan Foundation Young Artist of the Year Award, was the 2012 recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and has attended residencies at Cittadelarte, Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, and Gasworks and Delfina in London. He has exhibited at Palestine c/o Venice at the Venice Biennale, Art Statements at Art Basel, the Sharjah Biennial, and the New Museum Triennial. Exhibitions include Biscuits and Green Sox Maaike at Reena Spaulings, New York, Empire State at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Frozen Lakes at Artists Space, New York, and Nouvelles Vagues at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His films have screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hamburg Film Festival, Courtisane Festival Belgium, and the Norwegian Film Festival. He lives and works in New York.

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    Shadi Habib Allah. Courtesy Marcel.
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    30KG Shine, 2017, installation view, courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation.
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    30KG Shine, 2017, installation view, courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation.
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    S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012, installation view, image courtesy of Artists Space.
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    S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012, installation view, image courtesy of Artists Space.
    S/N: 8F1GNA0021, 2012, installation view, image courtesy of Artists Space.

    Selected proposal:

    Shadi Habib Allah’s new work began with an immersive engagement with corner stores in Liberty City, Miami, in order to examine government welfare policies and their impact on a largely disenfranchised and marginalized population. Serving as hubs for local communities and centers for non-monetary forms of exchange, the stores maintain an interdependent relationship with their clientele by selling groceries on credit or exchanging food stamps for cash. These exchanges embody the impoverishment, scarcity, and financial inequity that form the basis of the project. Prompted specifically by the distribution policies of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the personal relationships between storeowners and customers, the project consists of a series of images and sculptures that approximate the quotidian nature and social reality of areas such as Liberty City, marked by racial and economic disparity.

    Yazan Khalili

    Yazan Khalili, born in 1981, lives and works in and out of Palestine. He received a BA from Birzeit University, an MA from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, and an MFA from the Sandberg Institute. He was co-founder of Zan Design Studio and the winner of Extract V Young Art Prize 2015. Solo shows include On the Other Side of the Law at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, On Love and Other Landscapes at Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, and Imane Fares Gallery, Paris, The Aliens at Transit Gallery, Mechelen, and Regarding Distance at E.O.A.Projects, London. Group shows include Post-Peace, Württ. Kunstverein Stuttgart, Al Riwaq Biennial Palestine, the Jerusalem Show, Searching for a Present at Espoo Museum of Modern Art, the Shanghai Biennale, The Plough and Other Stars at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, A Million Lines: XII Baltic Triennial, La Mer au Milieu des Terres//Mare Medi Terraneum at Es Baluard, the Berlinale, and Sharjah Biennial. He teaches at Al-Quds Bard University, and is chairman and acting director of the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre. 

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    Yazan Khalili. Courtesy Victoria Ushkanova.
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    On the Other Side of the Law, 2017, installation view, courtesy Lawrie Shabibi Gallery.
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    hiding our faces like a dancing wind, 2016, video still, courtesy of the artist.

    Selected proposal:

    Don’t Be a Stranger (working title) continues Yazan Khalili’s examination of developments in algorithm-based technologies. Can we think of these algorithms as ideologies, ghostly paradigms that are constructing our ways of seeing?

    Today’s recognition mechanisms have created a dilemma: we want to be recognized, to be part of the visible and networked world, but not as one fixed identity – we want to be able to reappear as we never appeared before. Not asking how to disappear in front of the technological gaze, but how to appear in front of it, this project explores facial recognition technologies and bio-politics. Working with facial recognition programmers, including Palestinians subcontracted by Israeli companies in the West Bank, and blind people, as well as filming the faces of sculptures and masks in museums and plastic surgery operations, the results are a video essay and an installation with photographic and sculptural elements.

    Maurice Louca

    Maurice Louca is an Egyptian musician and composer born in 1982 in Cairo, where he lives and works. His debut solo album Garraya was released in 2011 on the 100COPIES label, and his 2014 release Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot) on Nawa Recordings. Maurice is a co-founder of the bands Bikya, Alif, The Dwarfs of East Agouza, and Lekhfa. He was guest curator of Beirut & Beyond 2017, and has composed for numerous projects of theater, film, and contemporary visual art. He frequently tours Europe and the Arab world – recent gigs include Cairo Jazz Club, Shubbak Festival in London, Dancity Festival in Foligno, Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, Sweden Inkonst, CTM Festival in Berlin, WORM Rotterdam, OCCII in Amsterdam, Recyclart in Brussels, Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg, Südpol in Lucerne, Bee Flat in Bern, Cave 12 in Geneva, Instants Chavires in Paris, Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, Kunstencentrum BELGIE in Hasselt, Vera in Groningen, and Baustelle in Leipzig.

    Selected proposal:

    This project realizes Maurice Louca’s ambition to customize and amend particular instruments, mainly percussive melodic instruments, with an interest in tonality — mainly micro tonality and in particular Maqam, but not limited to that. Rather than being a research-based project, it is formed around a core of two new compositions Louca is developing with guest musicians, which incorporate the new possibilities these customized instruments offer. Guest composers and musicians are also invited to compose or improvise pieces of music around them. The results are presented live, as well as through a series of recordings leading to possible releases. 

    Jasmina Metwaly

    Born in 1982 to an Egyptian father and a Polish mother, Jasmina Metwaly is a Cairo-based artist and filmmaker, and a member of the Mosireen collective. She received an MA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and a Postgraduate Diploma at the Byam Shaw School of Art at Central Saint Martins, London. Metwalyʼs work has been exhibited at international art venues and festivals including S A V V Y Contemporary in Berlin, Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut, Townhouse gallery in Cairo, Cairo Documenta, IFFR, and Berlinale Forum Expanded. Since 2010 she has also collaborated on projects with filmmaker Philip Rizk. In 2015 their feature-length film Out on the Street was presented in the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale and at MoMA during the exhibition: Films from Here: Recent Views from the Arab World. In 2017, she was an artist-in-residency at DAAD in Berlin.

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    Jasmina Metwaly. Courtesy Christina Rizk.
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    We Are Not Worried in the Least, 2018, installation view, image courtesy of SAVVY Contemporary.
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    We Are Not Worried in the Least, 2018, installation view, image courtesy of SAVVY Contemporary.

    Selected proposal:

    Jasmina Metwaly’s ’Anbar (Cell) (working title) is a film project involving women from Iraq and Syria who tailor and teach tailoring at a Berlin refugee shelter, an Egyptian tailor with a history of suit-making for the military, three Egyptian lawyers, and two cameramen working for state television in Cairo.

    Professionals with uniforms usually act as types – types of gatekeeper. The uniform disguises the individual and acts as a vestige of power, a skin that differentiates between spheres of civil and stately – or secular and holy. It enables the bearer to decide between legal and illegal, legitimate and illegitimate and, finally, life and death. This film project changes attire and investigates its configurations. The uniform is re-assembled and put back in motion, changing its intended function. And the crime is staged.

    nasa4nasa

    nasa4nasa is a dance collective based in Cairo, co-founded by dancers Noura Seif Hassanein and Salma Abdel Salam in 2016. Salma, born in 1989, holds a BA from the American University in Cairo, completed the three-year professional program at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC), and received her MA from NYU Tisch. In 2016, Salma received the DanceWeb scholarship. Salma teaches performance and dance theory at CCDC as well as various movement and dance courses across Cairo. She is a certified IBBFA barre instructor and is studying to become a Feldenkrais practitioner. Salma has performed with choreographers such as Benoit LaChambre, Tino Sehgal, Yoshiko Chuma, Karima Mansour, Mirette Michail, Mohamed Shafik, Adham Hafez and ExNihilo, and has been published by Ibraaz and ICI Paris. Noura, born in 1985, is a dancer and visual artist. She received a BA from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan University and completed the three-year program at CCDC. She has exhibited at the Cairo Youth Salon, Grand Palais Paris, Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, Tache in Cairo, Photocairo 5, and Gypsum Gallery in Cairo. She has received scholarships from the Henri Jurriens Foundation and DANCEWEB. Noura has performed with choreographers and artists such as Mohamed Shafik, Ex Nihlo, Karima Mansour, Mirette Mechail, Marten Spanberg, Hend el Balouty, Shaymaa Shoukry and recently, with Doa Aly at Art Dubai and the Sharjah Biennale.

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    nasa4nasa. Courtesy the artists.
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    pool series, 2017, dance performance, image courtesy Farah Ashiri.
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    Noha El Kholy, channeling Trisha Brown, 2018, dance performance, courtesy the artists.
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    Suuash, 2018, dance performance, image courtesy Amr Hassan.

    Selected proposal:

    nasa4nasa is drawn to venues of extreme functionality, reappropriating spaces of regimented movement as dance and highlighting dancers as trained bodies. They form a relationship of unison that is mirrored and separated as dictated by the space; each performance ends when both bodies find a way to collapse the space.

    For Suaash, nasa4nasa compile a number of movements that are shuffled, reconfigured, and repeated to adhere to pre-established patterns, in collaboration with musician Asem Tag. Influenced by the squash court, they begin to think of choreography as a way of organizing time and space in order to eventually experience an exhausted and unstructured dance. This exhaustion of structure transforms the space into an atmospheric landscape that romanticizes the red grid they occupy, bringing a female quality to the foreground. Asking: How can you slow down time in a space that demands otherwise? How do you create a rhythmic occupation? How can you dissolve (into) a space? The failure of the imposed grid creates an unobtrusive ending.