Blog News

Rest in peace Adam Yauch

Please listen to what Adam Yauch says about Arabs and Muslims at 6:30. They are receiving this important award and Adam Yauch really uses his time to say something to the American people. Keep in mind this is 1998, before 9/11. What he was saying in 1998 is completely revelvant now. Rest in Peace dear Adam and thank you for speaking up. I remember watching this when I was 28 and being very moved by him.

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Blog News

Sneak peek at Profane DVD, cover art front and back

We are pleased to announce the DVD Release of Profane for June 19! Press should contact Clint at MVD for screeners (info linked below)

You can also pre-order here

News Shows

Convulsion Expulsion at Symposium of Post-Pornography and Visual Culture in Mexico City

Professor Alejandra Diaz will be screening an excerpt from Convulsion Expulsion on March 22 in Mexico City. This is a film Kristie and I made back in 2004– I wrote about it my blog here.  This is for a media show that Alejandra is putting together and she is especially interested in our film, as she puts it in her own words:

“We consider [Convulsion Expulsion] very important as part of the formation of students and our work as researchers.  I met the short film during my  doctoral research. My thesis and forthcoming book deals with the issue of the wounded and transgressed body  as post-pornographic representational strategy. I have devoted a section of my work on the text within a chapter called ” Of the explicit sex of porn to the explicit body of post-pornography “, this is a literal recovery of a text called “Explicit Body: anatomy of abjection” by Fabián Giménez Gatto, the section where I regained your work is called “Analogies of ejaculation,” how you see, I’ve been very interested and I’ve been recovering from your work, I want to extend my investigation and theoric reflection and recovered a lot of things from Kristie, I need too talk about a new conception of feminity.”


Blog News

New work: Number 6

This is part 6 of a painting/video series I started back in 2008. In versions 1-5 I utilized real paint, being used on paper in some form, and recorded on video. All of this video-paint material is combined and manipulated in various ways to create a new work. There are additional video-audio components that are linked, sewn into and essential to each piece.

With this new mutation in the series I could not faithfully use the word ‘Painting’ since no paint was used. I never meant for the title to be that literal, but that is the unifying link for My Paintings 1-5. No paint was used in Number 6 just video mattes of color and documents from my pocket video camera. I also changed the ‘canvas’ to a vertical position.

News Reviews

Bad Lit declares Profane Best Movie of the Year for 2011

I’m very honored that Profane was declared best movie for 2011 by Bad Lit. Thank you Mike Everleth! Check out Bad Lit a great site for all things underground film!

By Mike Everleth

Choosing Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film’s 2011 Movie of the Year came down to a near dead heat. There were two movies that came out this year filled with such grand ambition, artistry and skill that the decision almost came down to a tie before ultimately settling on the singular Movie of the Year tradition.

That movie this year is Usama Alshaibi‘s Profane, a spectacular triumph of uncompromising vision, extreme daring and intimate personal expression. There was simply no other film like it this year — underground or otherwise — and its only rival of sheer audacity of the past several years was last year’s Movie of the Year pick,Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then.

And yes, I did say there was almost a tie this year. The first runner-up is a film that achieved greatness for several different reasons than Profane‘s accomplishments.

But, before I get to that close runner-up, there’s even a third film that, in a weaker year, would have handily snagged the top spot:Jaimz Asmundson‘s magickal portrait of his father, The Magus.

Perhaps some might consider the adjective “dazzling” as too cliched and/or old-fashioned to use to describe a film, but it seems there’s hardly any other word to describe The Magus. This is a short film — a little over 10 minutes — with no dialogue that was originally reviewed at the very beginning of the year. However, Asmundson’s electric and beautifully crafted images of his father painting a doorway to another dimension were seared onto Bad Lit’s brain like a hot poker. In pure visual terms, this film weaves a potent spell.

The first runner-up to Bad Lit’s 2011 Movie of the Year is the powerhouse documentary Battle for Brooklyn, directed by Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky.

Made over the course of seven years, Battle for Brooklyn takes the story of a local neighborhood struggle and transforms it into a politically-charged, bare knuckle slugfest of epic proportions. Not only that, in the form of Daniel Goldstein, the film gives us the perfect everyman hero to root for at its center. To describe it another way, this is a ’70s Sidney Lumet film made real.

Even more astounding, finished and on the festival and theater circuit in the spring and summer, Battle for Brooklyn now seems like a prescient instigator of the Occupy Wall Street movement that sprouted up in the autumn. If there ever were a film to inspire the seemingly powerless masses to rise up and fight back against big business and the politicians who lie in bed with them, it would be Battle for Brooklyn.

Profane is an activist film, too, of a different sort. It is a spiritually activist film.

The main character of Profane may be a female Muslim sex worker searching to engineer a “reverse exorcism,” but one can tell that this is filmmaker Alshaibi’s — a middle-aged husband and father — most personal film to date. Perhaps even moreso than his diary documentary Nice Bombs.

It would seem that getting back in touch with his Iraqi roots in Nice Bombs have sent Alshaibi on a spiritual quest that has culminated in Profane, which combines several motifs found throughout all his work throughout his career, particularly his sexually transgressive experimental films and his explorations of the outsider.

All of this combines into a thrilling, heady and complex stew of visual provocations, challenging assumptions of American Muslim identity and oblique character development. It is the rare film that can so perfectly combine themes of political, social, spiritual and personal anxiety and upheaval into a cohesive, exhilarating whole. Perhaps none of done so with such artistic grace as Alshaibi has done with Profane.

It is for those reasons that we name Profane as Bad Lit’s 2011 Movie of the Year.

News Reviews

Solar Anus Cinema review by Total (no) subjective

Slovenian blogger Total (no) subjective review of Solar Anus Cinema. Translated into English using Google translate. 

No, I’m sailing in the waters porn than you think to the title, but the art combined with the exploitation of the body. The title of this blog is derived from the collection of short films, between 2001 and 2008 recorded born in Iraq and staying versatile artist Chicago Usama Alshaibi . An artist who is one of the movie screen, but above all in the space of galleries and skvotov. It creates video installations that explore the issue of physicality and sexuality.If I’m looking for the easiest way into his bizarre perversion and obsession with the world, I can not far from the audio-visual treats Solar Anus Cinema (year 2009). Some time ago I had seen his short video Ass (year 2001), which is a collective of Cinema Abattoir placed on the collection of L’erotism (year 2007) and was surprised at the directness and impact strength seen. Manipulated the pictures women butt and your object of worship turned into zavijačeno, repetitive entity, which amends and consolidates the view of mind. Even then I thought that the line that separates pornography from art, extremely thin, the whole being becomes part of your personal taste. Attacks your taste. It also destroys the boundary between aesthetic beauty and aesthetics of ugliness. Usama Alshaibi is re-examines the position and your moral values ​​that this work such as you. In the compilation of the Solar Anus Cinema all items are namely celluloid debt by more than 3 minutes, which they do not offer enough room for choice. Naked female bodies in full force attack your senses and sense of wellbeing. If his films described as pornography, the viewer feel the satisfaction and joy. He felt the excitement and gratification of their primary instincts. A sonic attack in the opposite happens – dominated by disgust, discomfort, and all the spins on the border weaknesses. A hearing is not only your conscience but the whole body. I have long looked so natural cinema, which requires openness, sensitivity and tolerance. At stake are you – the viewer.

The easiest way to compare his work with the master of transgression – a New York legend by the name of Richard Kern . Master ditches and director of apostates and those who do not paint a perfect body, but by trying to destroy and distort. Usama Alshaibi work just that – a picture of naked models and cut them with scars, bandages, wounds and bruises from the blows. Do not celebrate violence – just the opposite. The body appears as a reaction to violence. As a result of something hidden view. His female portraits penetrate the essence of physicality and sexuality. Show women as objects in the universe of viewers and directors – even if they are single entities. Usama Alshaibi is just obsessed with the view that the physical addresses of highly visual fantasy. He is fascinated with the mere physical presence of their designs, which by itself does not touch – They penetrate the bare camera. And that is all you need to make figures from them. And although short films without any story or narrative. View is in itself explodes. Voyeur guilty conscience and leave the audience itself, which it seems as if it were part of the whole event. With such a force is directed to its subject / object closer to his eyes.

For example, take two of the short films. His best known work is probably Convulsion Expulsion (year 2004) which features his wife – a performer and artist Kristie Alshaibi .Feel like being from another planet or dimension, as it is shrouded in puffs and bandages.Androgynous creature, which comes alive at the time of explosion. Metaphorical and real.The director is capturing the moments when her menstrual blood (!!!), slides from all orifices.Contrast that is created between the whiteness of the body and blood redness, discomfort and stress has announced a full assault on your perception of the seen. Penetrate the invisible wall that separates the creator and the viewer. Good thing this is not part of the performance on stage, because otherwise the viewer would become part of the action. Or rather – you will not only withdrew his gaze, but the whole body. Another film that I touched it, the 5-minute eskapada Spoiled (year 2008), which shows the naughty young woman who nažira with sweets and fruit. But really nažira. Whole, this is not run only in the weakness, but reaches the full impact resistance. On the food I never looked like, as I have before viewing this film. I have a high threshold of tolerance. On behalf of the artist but art you can afford all – authorized and unauthorized. The choice remains a matter for your discretion. I will conclude with a smile on your face. Collection of Solar Anus Cinema is complete 50-minute mockumentarec The amateurs (year 2003), which proves thatUsama Alshaibi also addresses the longer formats, as already recorded a couple of documentaries. It is not without humor also demonstrated by The amateurs , which is a kind of fake porn movie. Or quasi-pornographic film recording. So much laughter in my house there was a long time, since the quasi-porn actors and actresses really amateurs who can not grow anything. Whole works like a dirty version of the legendary Czech Is this cartoon! No kidding. Everything they undertake, and even sex, it turns into a comedy confusions which prevail female half, men are far from mačotov – impotent, disinterested and adjacent igrarij. Another proof that what I watch, not pornography, but fine art farce.

News Reviews

Djinn In the blogosphere

Two blog reviews of my work.

I really enjoyed reading this review by Sargasso Sea, a creative collective blog:

If there’s one thing I’m sick of, it’s not caring. Perhaps not caring is the same as apathy or indifference or a side effect of being a teenager, but I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that too often I read a book or see a film and by the end of it, I find myself profoundly unaffected. As if nothing had ever happened, as if my viewpoint had emerged unaltered – and that’s when familiarity becomes truly contemptible.

On Friday night I sat in the audience at the Brisbane Underground Film Festival and watched a film that was like nothing I’d ever seen before. The experimental, psycho-sexual feature Profane, directed by Iraqi-American Usama Alshaibi, is an alarming snapshot of life that transcends the genre structures of drama, humour and horror. Muna, a young Muslim dominatrix uprooted from her Middle Eastern culture, loses her sense of spirituality and sets about finding it in the back of taxi cabs, dirty apartments and Chicago side streets. Although Muna’s trials with the Quran, hijab and her “jinn” (a good/bad demon) may be foreign to a Westernised audience; her sometimes psychotic, other times peaceful state of mind is surprisingly relatable.

The film is a raw documentation of her disenfranchised cultural identity, playing with the ironies of submission and sanctity – culminating in a haunting piece of cinema that did in fact make me care a great deal. At times, Profane descends into a kaleidoscopic swirl of colour, allowing the audience to tread carefully through Muna’s eerie and horrific spiritual dreamscape. In fact, it’s quite fitting to consider the Greek etymology of the word psychedelic: originating from psykhē (soul)and dêlos (manifest). The director Alshaibi does exactly that – manifesting the soul with a mind-altering perception that challenges our own sense of identity, rendering “this mundane world sublime“.

The second piece is in Greek.  It’s about my art and my life… some of the facts are incorrect but has an accurate tone. The author emailed me the link at and I explained I could not read it. He recommended I use an online translator. Here is the result:

The genie Alshaibi

The Usama Alshaibi believes in genies. The Jinn are the demons of Islam. According to the Quran, Allah created man from clay, angels from light and jinn from smokeless fire. It is as good and evil, and said that everyone has one. Whoever loses the genie loses track of itself.Then estranged from the environment, culture and religion.  The Alshaibi finding the lost films of the genie.

Amerikanoirakinos filmmaker, was born in Baghdad in 1969 and shared his life in the U.S. and the Middle East.  The videos and films screened at many festivals around the world as a documentary about the bombing of Baghdad Nice Bombs.  Also, many hosted galleries photographic exhibitions.  His work is mainly in the documentary and experimental video and the style is basically influenced by the excess Cinema (Cinema of Transgression).

The life-like “collateral damage” in a NATO war.

Born in Baghdad but in a very early age his family moved to America when his father won a scholarship from the Iraqi government for the University of Iowa. The daily did not differ from that of his peers.  Celebrated Christmas and summers spent in the camps of indoctrination.He had not even heard the word Islam.

When he was in fourth grade studying his father’s ended and the family decided to return to Baghdad. From there they moved to Basra as his father was not a member of the Baath party and this meant that he could not find a job professor in the capital.  Basra found the war between Iran and Iraq. They had to go to Saudi Arabia again in search of the institution to teach his father. Their house in Basra was bombed nine months after their departure.

O Alshaibi has two sisters who were born in Iraq and two brothers born in Iowa.  The family emigrated when he found his father to teach. In Saudi Arabia, lived two years, then went to Jordan and from there to Abu Dhabi.  It was school student when his mother decided that she wants to study fashion and took the children back to America. His father, who could not find work in America, he stayed in Abu Dhabi. After a while they got divorced.

Since the war and the Middle East suddenly found a totally different environment where the notion of his classmates were girls. The student visa mother did not allow him to work.Necessarily made several odd jobs while traveling in Santa Fe, Madison and many other places in the U.S.. When in 1990 was 21 years old, the mother’s visa does not cover and had to return to Iraq.  In August, however, war broke out. He said he would not take part in this war (the Iraqi Army had recruit), and thus managed to get political asylum.

At that time he met the underground film movements in New York and more of the Cinema of the excess. In films of Richard Kern saw a kind of cinema that fit with its environment.Immediately impressed.

In 1994 he enrolled at the University of Chicago, Film Department. Paying tuition with loans and working as a guard in the same school. To 1995 got the green card and two years later he graduated from university. Got a job at the Historical Archive of Chicago. Furthermore, contacted filmmakers in Chicago with whom they shared common ideas about cinema. The Alshaibi had preferred to experimental cinema and most personal work of the director, influenced much of the Transcendental Cinema, despite the collective work of academic cinema.

The year 2000 was one of the founders of the Z Film Festival. As part of the festival met Kristie Drew, a young graduate of the School of Fine Arts and worked in a series of films and videos in the spirit of Richard Kern, ie naïve, full of sexual innuendo and sometimes violently, but with political references, which he characterizes “young erotic love letter.” The two became a couple and worked with many artistic projects, and always heretical underground.

The few years of normal life was interrupted by 9 / 11. The threatening phone calls and visits by the FBI (“whether you are preparing an attack against the United States?”) Became a nightmare.

His first feature film “Muhammad and Jane” is the story of an Arab and American couple living in fear of lynching.

The Alshaibi and Drew were married in 2003 and then acquired American citizenship.

In the documentary Nice Bombs became widely known. The couple Alshaibi and Drew taxidepse in Baghdad in 2004 and filmed the lives of the people who bombed the city, but also themselves in the chaos, destruction and moral dilemmas.

Follow the documentary Profane, the portrait of a dominatrix, “Master’s” sadomazochistikou sex Arab descent living in the U.S., while faithful Muslim. A great story of internal struggle with the Muslim devils, the genie. The two elements of art and natural life of Usama Alshaibi, namely the explosion of suppressed libido Cinema of transgression and the search for national identity among the Arab world and America combined in the portrait of Muna.

His new film has been working title “The American Arab” and will be released soon. Clearly the issue and why the turns: not yet found the genie.

News Shows

Profane playing at Minneapolis Underground Film Festival


Minneapolis Underground Film Festival

Hosted at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on December 2-4, the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival utilizes state of the art screening facilities and multiple auditoriums to showcase  underground cinema’s most provocative and original work.

A deeply felt journey into psychosexual horror“-TimeOut Boston

“Profane is an extraordinary visionary work from an accomplished filmmaker who is clearly now at the top of his game.”

Torn between ecstasy and submission, Muna takes an unorthodox path to enlightenment, one that Profane dramatizes with documentary methods and psychedelic imagery. Alshaibi demonstrates that true reverence sometimes requires transgression.” – The Boston Phoenix

News Shows

Allahu Akbar and Dogirl playing in Germany at Directors Lounge

Allahu Akbar and Dogirl playing at Directors Lounge at the Contemporary Art Ruhr (C.A.R.), World Heritage Site Zollverein.

Directors Lounge presents a wide variety of experimental film and new media art at the Zollverein World Heritage Site – also known as “the world’s most beautiful coal mine”. This year we will have a focus on Guy Maddin, the doyen of experimental cinema.

We would be pleased to meet you, if you’re around!

Building A12 with Guy Maddin, Ina Otzko, D. Kimm & Brigitte Henry, Marie Losier, Julia Murakami, Alexei Dmitriev, Coleman Miller, Alan Smithee, Triny Prada, Fabiana Roscioli, André Werner, Clint Enns, Usama Alshaibi and others …

    contemporary art ruhr 2011, the innovative art fair

Zollverein XII World Heritage Site building A2, A6, A5, A12, A 7/ red dot design museum, outdoor area

official opening
Fri, 28 October 2011, 8 p.m. at Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen, V.I.P.-Preview: 6 p.m.

public fair days
Sat, 29 October 2011, 12 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sun, 30 October 2011, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


Zollverein XII World Heritage Site
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen, Germany

day ticket
12,- € / 10,-€

News Shows

Chicago Underground Film Festival’s Salonathon Spooktacular

Monday, October 31
Full list of films playing including Slaughtered Pigtails (by Kristie Alshaibi and Usama Alshaibi)

The Psychotic Odyssey of Richard Chase directed by Carey Burtt 6min.

The Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House #1 The Very Long Fuse directed by Steve Hall and Cathee Wilkins 4 min.

The Icy Depths of Out There directed by Tommy Heffron 4.5 min.

The Virgin Sacrifice directed by JX Williams 10 min.

The Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House #2: The Birds
directed by Steve Hall and Cathee Wilkins 5 min.

Slaughtered Pigtails directed by Usama and Kristie Alshaibi 2.5 min.

Ghosts and Gravel Roads directed by Mike Rollo 16 min.

The Beast Within (Work-in-progress trailer) directed by Ross Meckfessel 3 min.

The Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House #3: Your Pet Cat
directed by Steve Hall and Cathee Wilkins 4 min.

Alone Without A Friend In The World directed by Julia Zinn & Jerzy Rose 11min.

Then, queer electro fuck band DAAN will blast us with a macabre and amazing set.

Stick around afterward to dance and eat candy! Salonathon House DJs Swaguerilla and Zesty Blanco spin an eclectic dance party!

As always, there will be a HOSTED BAR from 8 to 9pm. RSVP at with SALONATHON in the subject line and your name in the body of the email. (Must RSVP to that address by 5pm Monday in order to access the hosted bar.)

Beauty Bar is at 1444 W. Chicago Ave ( and there will be $3.00 drafts and other cheap drinks throughout the night!