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Give Me a Body Then

Mellow productions, Beirut - DasArts Amsterdam 2005

"I used to search for pictures of naked people, stealing glances at any nude photos I could find.
There was no Internet at the time, and I did not have any access to pornography, so I would try to find these photos anywhere possible, including biology books. More than once, I found pictures of naked, often dead, people in newspapers. I did not care what the photos were trying to say; I was just looking at what they showed. I would collect these pictures and look at them every now and then. When I grew up, I continued collecting pictures of people, but not all of them were dead."

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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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