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Egyptian Scale

2016, Historical photograph 1900/1920. Drawings, ink and charcoal. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès, Paris

The Egyptian Scale is based on a series of photographs of Egyptian ruins and temples from 1900-1920 made by the Swiss photographer V. de Mestral-Combremont. In each plate, the photographer placed an Egyptian man to give a sense of the size of the architecture. By applying a layer of Ink and charcoal on top of the original plates a new reading arise: the drawing of a grid highlights how the “local” Egyptian was used as a measuring scale. This western gaze upon ruins is part of the construct of a value system that was set by modernity. The red ink flow on the photograph highlights the position of the Egyptian man, but also annunciate a moment of violence upon historical ruins. 

 

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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