Basma Al Sharif is an artist/filmmaker of Palestinian origin, raised between France and the USA. Since completing her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2007, she has developed her practice nomadically between Cairo, Beirut, Sharjah, Amman, and the Gaza Strip. Basma’s work centers on the human condition in relation to shifting geopolitical landscapes, natural environments, and history. She works in film, photography, and installation, and has exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, the New Museum, the Jerusalem Show, TIFF, the Berlinale, the Sharjah Biennial, Videobrasil, and Manifesta 8. Basma is represented by Galerie Imane Farès in Paris, is distributed by Video Data Bank in Chicago, and is currently based in Los Angeles.
Ben Russell is a media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image. A 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2010 FIPRESCI award recipient, Russell has had solo screenings and exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Viennale, and the Museum of Modern Art. He began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island and was co-director of the artist-run space BEN RUSSELL in Chicago, Illinois. Russell has toured worldwide with film, video, and performance programs and was named by Cinemascope as one of the “50 Best Filmmakers Under 50.”
There is no story that is not true. - Chinua Achebe
Nothing Is Not Pleasure is a conversation in multiple, mercurially voiced by artist/ filmmakers Basma Al Sharif and Ben Russell. It is a collaborative dialogue that strategically deploys John Cage’s classic Lecture on Nothing as the framework for a deeper inquiry into the radical pain and pleasure of subjecthood and the confusion of author and audience.