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Videos Projected Onto Library For One-Night Showing

(Courtesy of samaalshaibi.com)
Sama Alshaibi's video art "vs The Brother" will be projected on the library wall Friday night.

During this First Friday, you can attend a walk-in theater of sorts. The Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix will project three different pieces of art — video art — on the building's walls. It’s a public art project called “Light it Up!” and Friday is its first and only showing.

Sama Alshaibi is chair of the photography department at the University of Arizona. Her video called “vs The Brother” will be one of the projected works. It’s a video that Alshaibi said looks at gender roles and coming of age. When you watch it, you’d expect to hear the sound of a sports car. But instead, it's silent.

It’s a split-screen video — on one half is a car doing donuts. On the other is a female aerial dancer, wrapping and unwrapping herself in black silk hanging from a ceiling. Alshaibi said the decision for silence came while editing.

"I created it at first with the available sound of the car, but it dominated the dancer and made it far more aggressive and removed the fluidness of the car and its similarity to the female,"  Alshaibi said.

Alshaibi said she wanted to visually contrast the female dancer and male driver, and show their similarities.

"They’re both spinning and trapped in their social constructions and social expectations," Alshaibi said.

Alshaibi’s work will join two other videos from out-of-state artists Chris Fraser and David Politzer. The videos will play on different walls on a 90-minute loop starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Burton Barr Library.

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Annika Cline was a producer for KJZZ's The Show from 2014 to 2019.