fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Ali Cherri
La Biennale di Venezia

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Ali Cherri

1976, Lebanon

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    FRI - SAT UNTIL 25/09
    11 AM - 8 PM

    TUE - SUN
    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Ali Cherri is an artist working across film, video, installation, drawing, and performance. In Cherri’s practice, the urgent political realities of his Beirut childhood during the decade-long Lebanese Civil War are positioned beside moments in history. Situated in a continuum, the ancient world and contemporary society merge as spaces of mythmaking. In Cherri’s new multi-channel video installation Of Men and Gods and Mud (2022) he traces the history of the Merowe Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Africa, located on the Nile River in Northern Sudan. The work imagines the punishing construction of a dam as a portal to a fantastical world. In the video, a seasonal brickmaker spends his days in the heat performing the gruelling ancient task of shaping mud into bricks; at night, he secretly builds a structure in mud and scrap, which ultimately transforms into a mystical creature with bodily presence. Envisioned as a monster, this creature functions as a metaphor for the devastation wrought by the creation of the dam, whose construction in the early 2000s led to the forced displacement of more than 50,000 people in surrounding areas, and the mud workers as exiled, temporary labourers. Reflecting upon imaginaries surrounding mud and deluge – Ancient Egyptian myths of the flooding Nile, the Jewish legend of the golem, Noah’s Ark, – Cherri furthermore captures deeply held associations in both myth and history with these natural occurrences: the creation of the Other.

Madeline Weisburg

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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte