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Beirut - Paris

Galerie Imane Farès

​41, rue mazarine / 75006 paris

Almine Rech

Paris Brussels London New York Shanghai Monaco


Photo: Boris Camaca

Exploring different geographies of violence in his native Lebanon but also in the broader region, Ali Cherri (b. 1976, Beirut) is a Paris-based artist with three decades of artistic practice spanning across film, performance, sculpture - in terra and bronze -, drawing, and installations, interrogating the ways in which political violence disseminates into people’s bodies and the physical and cultural landscape. Shaped by the vibrant artistic scene of postwar Beirut in the 1990s, Cherri began to investigate the sensorial coproduction of reality between images of conflict, the urban fabric and his own body.

Through the moving image and the accidented journeys of cultural artifacts, the artist discovered in the visual analysis of the political construction of history, the underlying intimate relationship between narratives of cultural value, the configuration of the past and violence itself. In a series of interventions on archaeological collections, Cherri sets out to confront the traditional signifiers of value in the museum by reintroducing fragments and artifacts that had been otherwise discarded in the form of hybrid creatures that embody the history of archaeology as a tale of colonial violence.

His film tetralogy, The Disquiet (2013), The Digger (2015), The Dam (2022), and The Watchman (2023), the subject of accolades and presentations in institutions as well as film festivals, is an extended meditation on political landscapes, from Lebanon to Cyprus and Sudan, imprinted with the traces of past events. Cherri is the recipient of the Silver Lion Award at the 59th Venice Biennale. In Venice, the video installation Of Men and Gods and Mud (2022) brings together our current predicament at the intersection of ecological disaster and the search for new grand narratives.

Mud, the primeval matter of our creation stories, both resilient and fragile, signals a new sculptural direction for the artist. In his most recent institutional exhibitions, Humble and quiet and soothing as mud (2023) at Swiss Institute and Dreamless Night (2023) at GAMeC, Cherri brings mud to life with monumental eagles, soldiers or the transtemporal history of mankind, blurring chronologies and alerting us to the latent dangers of civilization as an inherently destructive process. The telluric movements of history in Cherri’s work draw us towards a cartography of impermanence.

The artist’s expanded dialogue between art, archaeology and the fabric of historical time brought him recently in conversation with the work of modernist sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti, around the representation of the human face in the exhibition Envisagement (2024) at the Institut Giacometti in Paris. The interposition with Giacometti’s sculptures and paintings brings to the fore not only Cherri’s interest in the body and history, but also on the afterlife of artifacts and museological narratives. Ali Cherri’s exhibition Dreamless Night opened in Frac Bretagne in February 2024.

— Ari Akkermans, writer and art critic

Ali Cherri's works are included in the collections of MoMA New York, the British Museum, the Musée national d’art moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Cnap (Centre National des Arts Plastiques), among others.


2024 Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria

2024 Alberto Giacometti / Ali Cherri : ENVISAGEMENT', Giacometti Foundation, Paris, France
2024 'Le Songe d’une nuit sans rêve', Frac Bretagne, Rennes, France

2023. Dreamless Night at GAMeC, Bergamo 

2023. Humble and quiet and soothing as mud at The Swiss Institute, New York 

2023. Ceux qui nous regardent at CAC La Traverse, Alfortville, France 

2022. If you prick us do we not bleed? at The National Gallery, London 

2022. If you prick us do we not bleed? at The Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry 

2019. The Breathless Forest, La Vitrine, Beirut, Lebanon

2019. Solo Show, FIAC 2019, Paris, France

2017. Dénaturé - Galerie Imane Farès, Paris, France

2017. Somniculus - Jeu de Paume - Paris, France

2017. Somniculus - CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux - France

2017. From Fragment to Whole - Jönköping County Museum - Sweden

2016. A Taxonomy of Fallacies, Musée Sursock, Beirut, Lebanon

2014. Bird’s Eye View, CAP Kuwait Art Center - Kuwait

2014. On Things that Move, Galerie Imane Farès - Paris, France

2012. Bad Bad images, Galerie Imane Farès - Paris, France

2011. A fleur de peau, Galerie Regard Sud - Lyon, France


GROUP EXHIBITIONS - Presentations (selection)


Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning, 13th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea

Le vent se lève, MacVal, Val de Marne, France

Traits d’union.s, Manifesta, Marseille, France

The Gatekeepers, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille, France

Trembling Landscapes, Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Comme un parfum d’aventure, Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon, France

La vie des tables, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry - le Crédac, Ivry sur Seine, France


GAÏA Que deviens-tu ? Maison Guerlain, Paris, France

Le vent et les oiseaux m'encouragent, Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval, Hauterives, France

Water Blues, Parades for FIAC - Paris, France

Water Blues, Silencio - Paris, France

Phantom Limb, Jameel Arts Center, Dubai, UAE

Immortality, Ural Industrial Biennal, Yekaterinburg, Russia

A hymn to those that disappear, Monitor, Izmir, Turkey

La Vitrine, Beirut Art Residency, Beirut, Lebanon

Climbing Through the Tide, B7L9 Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis, Tunisia

An Opera for Animal, ParaSite, Hong Kong

La Roseraie du Val-de-Marne, Commande Le MacVal, France

Liquid Horizons,, Bratislava, Slovakia

Out Off Nature, Arsenal - Berlin, Germany

Gabès Cinéma Fen, Gabès, Tunisia

Water Blues, Foaje, Bratislava, Slovakia

A Century in Flux, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE

Water Blues, B7L9, Tunis, Tunisia

Last Skies: Avian Imaginaries, Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden, Netherlands


General Rehearsal, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow Russia

Forum do Futuro, Porto, Portugal

Master Class, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, USA

Prospectif Cinema, Centre Pompidou, Paris France

Statues Also Die - Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo & Museo Egizio, Torino, Italy

Guggenheim Exhibition, Galleria d’Arte Moderna - Milan, Italy

Fast Forward Festival - Onasis Foundation, Athens, Greece

March Meetings, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

Abraaj Art Prize, Dubai, UAE

Le Grand Monnayage, 8ème biennale de Melle, France

Artist’s Talk, ThalieLab, Bruxelle, Belguim

Le Musée Imaginaire, Jaou Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia

2017 .

13th Sharjah Biennial, Act II, Fruit of sleep, Sursock Museum, Lebanon

Mondes Flottants, 14th Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France

Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbors - MAXXI Museum, Rome, Italy

Where History Begins, Void - Derry, Irland

Tous, des sang-mêlés - Le MACVAL - Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France

Anarchéologies, Centre Pompidou, Paris France

Dust In Our Eyes, Twin Gallery, Madrid, Spain

2016 .

Rainbow Caravane - Aichi Triennial, Aichi - Japan

The End of the World, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prate Italy
But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise, Guggenheim New York

THE DIGGER, New Directors/New Films, MoMA - New York, U.S.
The Time is Out of Joint, Sharjah Art Space, Sharjah, U.A.E.
THE DIGGER, Cinéma du Réel, Centre Pompidou (Competition) - Paris, France
THE DIGGER, Ann Arbor Film Festival (Competition) - Michigan, U.S.

Lest the Two Seas Meet, Gwangju Museum of Art - Gwangju, Korea

THE DIGGER, Imagine Science, NYU Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. (Scientist Award)

Matérialité de l’Invisible, Le Centquarre - Paris, France
THE DIGGER, Rotterdam International Film Festival - The Netherlands

2015 .

CPH:DOX - Copenhagen International Documentary Festival, THE DIGGER  (NEW VISON Award)

Desires and necessities New incorporations, MACBA - Barcelona, Spain

Home Works 7, Ashkal Alwan - Beirut, Lebanon

kurz / dust, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle - Warsaw, Poland

A Space is a Space is a Space, Deutsches Architektur Zentrum DAZ - Berlin, Germany

Moving Image, Malmö Konsthall, Germany

The Migrant (Moving) Image - Rotterdam, Holland

Southern Panorama, VideoBrasil - São Paulo, Brazil (Award for The Disquiet)

La città che sale / The City Rises - BID PROJECT SPACE, Milan, Italy

Bruges Triennial - Bruges, Belguim

Space Between Our Fingers - Apexart exhibition, Beirut

Lest the Two Seas Meet, Warsaw Museum of Modern Art - Poland

Mare Medi Terra Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma - Spain

The Skin Off Our Time, CACSA: Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia - Adelaide, Australia

Open Rhapsody: A Journey into Photography and Video Collections, Beirut Exhibition Center - Lebanon

Du paradis à l’enfer… Tapis volants et drones, Villa Empain - Fondation Boghossian - Brussels, Belguim

2014 .

Songs of Loss and Songs of Love, Gwangju Museum of Art - South Korea

Helsinki Photography Biennial (Commissioned project) - Helsinki, Finland

Indie-Lisboa, International Independent Film Festival (Competition) - Lisbon, Portugal

Ann Arbor Film Festival (Competition) - Michigan, USA

ZKM - Center for Art and Media - Karlsruhe, Germany

A-I-R Laboratory - Centre for Contemporary Art (Residency) - Warsaw, Poland

AFAC Film Festival - Beirut, Lebanon

Afteratlas exhibition (Georges Didi-Huberman and Arno Gisinger) - Beirut Art Center, Lenanon

2013 .

Dubai International Film Festival - UAE

Yallay Art Space, Archi-Texture - Hong Kong

VideoBrasil, Southern Panorama - São Paulo, Brazil

University of California - Santa Cruz, Unfixed Itineraries - Santa Cruz, USA

Beirut Art Center, Dream-Machine - Beirut, Lebanon

Toronto International Film Festival - Toronto, Canada

Art Gallery of South Australia, Shifting Sands - Sydney + Adelaide, Australia

International Documentary and Short Film Festival - Kosovo

Yapi Kredi Cultural Center, Transition Project - Istanbul, Turkey

Home Works 6 Exhibition, Ashkal Alwan - Beirut, Lebanon

Le Sept/Cinq, Collections / Collection - Paris, France

Alwan Film Festival - New York, USA

Art Dubai - Dubai, UAE

The Hatch, Selected artist at Art Dubai - UAE

Art Paris Art Fair - Paris, France

San Francisco International Film Festival - USA

Oberhausen International Film Festival - Germany

Berlin International Film Festival - Germany

Rotterdam International Film Festival - The Netherlands

2012 .

MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York

Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Doha, Qatar
Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto, Canada
FIDMarseille, Marseille France
Beirut Art Fair, Beirut Exhibition Center, Lebanon
Beirut II, CAP (Contemporary Art Platfom), Kuwait
Dé Tunisie 1 an après, Institut du Monde arabe, Paris
41st Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam

2011 .

Southern Panorama, VideoBrasil – SECS, Sao Paolo, Brazil
Makan Art Space, Amman, Jordan
Beirut Ô Beirut, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Exposure, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Beirut, Kunsthalle, Vienne, Autriche
1 an déjà, Galerie Imane Farès, Paris, France

2010 .

Co_incidences, Galerie Imane Farès, Paris, France
Artist to artist 2010, The Delfina Foundation, London, UK

2009 .

Fiction in Action, Raster Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
A Fantasy For Alain Kaprow Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo, Egypt

2008 .

Home Works IV: A Forum on Cultural Practices, Beirut, Lebanon
Esto no es una exposición at Huarte Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Espagne

2007 .

Pavilion of Lebanon - Venice Biennale, Italy
Port Izmir Festival, Izmir, Turkey
Beirut Stories, Majestic Petra Festival, Jordan
Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburg, UK
Festival Paris Cinéma, Paris, France
In Focus, Tate Modern, London, UK
Mostravideo, Instituto Itaú Cultural Belo Horizonte, Brazil
The Karma of War, SUNY Stony Brook, NY, U.S.A.
Image-thought, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

2006 .

Out of Beirut, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK
Kunst-Werke Berlin E.V., Institute For Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany
Kasa Galerie, Istambul, Turkey
Dictionary of War, Munich, Germany

2005 .

Manifesta - Amsterdam, Holland
VideoBrazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil
18ème Instants Video: De la puissance de la mémoire, Soirée présentée par: magazine Bref
Video libanaise: entre fiction et réalité, Théâtre Le TARMAC de la Villette, Paris
Diskurs 05, European festival for young performing arts, Giessen, Germany
Festival des Instants Video Numériques et Poétiques, Marseille, France
Home Works III : A Forum on Cultural Practices, Beirut, Lebanon
KunstFilmBiennale Köln, Germany
Medien und Architektur Biennale Graz, Austria

For Art Basel Unlimited 2024, Almine Rech is delighted to present an installation by Lebanese artist Ali Cherri.

In the arresting video work The Watchman, the character Sergeant Bulut dutifully maintains a solitary vigil atop a remote watchtower. Night after night, Bulut scans the horizon, awaiting an enemy that never materializes – until the sudden appearance of strange lights disrupts his routine.

Through this simple narrative, The Watchman deftly deconstructs the ‘myth of duty’ that undergirds omnipresent war rhetoric. Bulut’s Sisyphean task lays bare the fundamental absurdity of such martial posturing, stripping away the veneer of heroism.

The monumental mud-sculpted ‘guardians’ of the accompanying installation are crafted from materials, subverting the normative representations of martial authority.

With The Watchman and its guardians, the artist offers a profound meditation and critique of deep-seated cultural narratives.

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