Ali Cherri: Water Blues

artist talk / screening / discussion

Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

Date: May 30, 2019 at 6 pm

Venue: Foajé, Štefánikova 16, Bratislava

The event will be conducted in English.

Co-organized by and Kapitál.

The event is part of the program related to the exhibition Liquid Horizons on view at until July 6, 2019.

ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit.
The event was supported using public funds provided by Slovak Arts Council.

The Digger (film, 24’, 2015)
Somniculus (film, 14’40’’, 2017)
Conversation between Ali Cherri and Rado Ištok

In relation to the exhibition Liquid Horizons, Ali Cherri will introduce two of his films, The Digger (2015) and Somniculus (2017). The screenings will be followed by a conversation with Rado Ištok, curator of Liquid Horizons, which also includes Ali Cherri’s installation, A Plot for a Possible Resurrection II (2019) in which the artist will draw links between his films and installations.

Ali Cherri’s work deals with questions of heritage, loss, ruination, decay, archeology and museology. These themes are also central in the films, while in the course of the presentation and discussion he will talk about his current body of research, Water Blues, on the cultural and geopolitical significance of mud, swamps and floods which is related to his work in Sudan and from which his installation at tranzit is also derived.

Mud fascinates as both material and metaphor. Its transformation into material for construction is a process as old as humanity. Very few spaces translate the periphery of human existence as well as the swamps where mud occurs. Neither completely soil nor completely water, swamps have long been considered as dreaded areas, enigmatic and ghostly places that cause death and sickness. The imaginary around mud embodies this in-between state; a ground favourable not only for natural resources, but also for imagination, and since the myth of Adam, for creation. In Sudan, these mud-sites are also literally geo-political swamps, where economic forces have converged to create a disaster that has inundated entire villages and their histories. Through a journey into different stories around swamps, drowning but also resurrecting, Water Blues is a dive into the terrific “dirty waters”.

Ali Cherri is a video and visual artist who was born in Beirut and currently lives in Paris. He works across a range of media including film and moving image, sculptural assemblages, multimedia installations and performance. Selected group exhibitions include Opera for Animals (Para Site, Hong Kong), But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise (Guggenheim, New York and Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan), Anarchéologie (Centre Pompidou, Paris), Statues Also Die (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and Museo Egizio, Torino, Italy). Selected solo exhibitions include Somniculus (Jeu de Paume, Paris and CAPC, Bordeaux), From Fragment to Whole (Jönköpings Läns Museum, Sweden), Bird’s Eye View (CAP, Kuwait), A Taxonomy of Fallacies (Sursock Museum, Beirut).

Ali Cherri, Somniculus, videostill, 2017