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the six / sama alshaibi

Sama Alshaibi is a multi-media artist born in 1973 (Basra, Iraq) to an Iraqi father and Palestinian mother and is now a naturalized US citizen. Her practice is based primarily in photography, video/object hybrids, multimedia installations and sculpture. Alshaibi has a longstanding history of negotiating spaces of conflict in her artwork: the aftermath of war and exile, the power dynamics between the nation and its citizenry and the interaction between humans competing for resources and power. In Alshaibi’s artwork, issues of war, occupation and exile often share the stage with a female protagonist. Although she frequently uses her own body, Alshaibi is rarely representing herself directly. The body is a signifier of the nation, the people or the individual negotiating with political and social oppressions. It can embody the violence of authority and tyranny, or it can serve as a challenge to its power.

Alshaibi has exhibited in over ten solo exhibitions, most recently Vs. Him at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai (2011) and Zero Sum Game at Selma Feriani Gallery, London (2010).  Her group exhibitions include the 55th Venice Biennial#COMETOGEHER: Edge of Arabia, London (2012), Come Visit Us, You’ll Strike Gold, HilgerBROTKunsthalle, Vienna (2012) The Changing Room, Turin and London (2011 and 2012), Corps Dévoilés (Body Discovered), Institut Du Monde Arabe, Paris, France (2012), Breaking Ranks: Human/Nature, Headlands Center for the Arts, California, USA (2011), The State, Traffic Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2010) and Hiwar at DARB 1718, Cairo, Egypt and Le Violon Bleu, Tunisia (2010).  She has also exhibited at the Bronx Museum in NYC, USA and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Denver, USA. Her 31 time-based works (video art and films) have screened in numerous film festivals internationally, including Mapping Subjectivity, MoMA (NYC), 24th Instants Video Festival(Mexico), Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece, CinemaEast Film Festival in NYC, DOKUFEST in Kosovo and the London, Toronto, NYC, Chicago and Houston Palestinian Film Festivals. She is exclusively represented by Ayyam Gallery.  Alshaibi is currently Associate Professor of Photography/Video Art, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA