De Appel, the highly-regarded contemporary arts centre in Amsterdam, is showing an exhibition by the Kuwaiti-born Palestinian artist Basma al-Sharif. Titled The Place Where I was Condemned to Live, this is the artist's first solo exhibition in the Netherlands. Al-Sharif is presenting a selection of her films and installations in which she poses questions about the representation of domesticity, land and displacement.

Al-Sharif uncovers how political and historical narratives seep into domestic settings, exerting an influence over private lives which blurs the boundaries between the personal and political realms. The landscapes which appear in her videos are imbued with a selective history that is presented to viewers through the usage of a variety of cinematic and poetic devices.

Basma al-Sharif, Ouroboros, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès.

In Trompe l'œil (2016), three photographs from the classic film Lawrence of Arabia are reshot as part of a still life that takes a familiar domestic space and injects a sense of pleasure, horror and banality. The installation A Philistine (2019-2023) consists of a fictional narrative by the artist in which she takes us on a train journey through time that dissolves borders. CAPITAL (2023) is a short film and photographic series which is a satirical investigation of urban development and censorship, both of which contributed to the rise of Fascism in Egypt. Al-Sharif's feature-length film Ouroboros (2017) conveys an endless cycle of destruction and reconstruction in Gaza. This film will be screened at the end of each day during the run of the exhibition.

Basma al-Sharif is a Palestinian artist who examines cyclical political conflicts through her cinema and photography in a satirical and lyrical manner. She currently has two exhibitions open: Worlds Worlds Worlds at KADIST in San Francisco, and There Is A Light That Never Goes Out at Galerie Imane Farès in Paris. Her works have been previously exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Biennial.

The exhibition at De Appel is open through September 8, 2024. More information about this and other programs at De Appel can be found on their site.

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