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Ali Cherri: Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Awardee 2017!


Born in 1976. Lives and works in Paris and Beirut.

Ali Cherri is a video and visual artist based in Beirut and Paris. His current project looks at the place of the archaeological object in the construction of historical narratives. His work has been presented in Museums and Art Spaces around the world, including But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise Guggenheim New York (2016), A Taxonomy of Fallacies: The Life of Dead Objects a solo exhibition Sursock Museum, Beirut (2016), Matérialité de l’Invisible at the Centquatre, Paris (2016), Time out of Joint, Sharjah Art Space (2016), Earth and Ever After Saudi Art Council, Jeddah (2016), Desires and Necessities MACBA, Spain (2015); Lest the Two Seas Meet Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Poland (2015); Mare Medi Terra Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Spain (2015); Songs of Loss and Songs of Love Gwangju Museum of Art, South Korea (2014).

Cherri’s research for the past year is a reflection on our contemporary moment, where catastrophe bubbles just below the surface of everyday life. At the intersection of scientific knowledge and histories of violence, using material gathered from archaeological digs, museums, and auction houses around the world, his work looks at the epistemic structure and function of archaeology, opening it up to reveal the darker, sometimes violent, impulse at its core. For his project at the Bellagio Centre, Cherri will be working towards the creation of a new video work, which will be looking at the relation between Nationalist Arab totalitarian regimes and their relation to archaeology. With the collapse of nationalist Arab states (Syria – Iraq – Libya) and the destruction of archaeological heritage in the region, it’s important to understand the historical context that led to what is happening today. Cherri’s project will be scrutinizing how these regimes built their authority on the ruins of the past.