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Le Pyromane

4500 burnt matches - Galerie Imane Farès 2012

'Le pyromane' was made in response to the act of self-immolation as political protest. The artwork,
which was presented at the solo show 'A fleur de peau' in 2012, spells out 'I am not a pyromaniac' using hundreds of matchsticks.

'On december 17, 2011, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, doused himself with paint thinner and lit a match.
His desperate act sparked uprisings across the arab world, and inspired a large number of other men to set themselves on fire. Those serial self-immolations provoked me with horror and wonder, I began questioning how could someone reach this extreme political statement?

The installation 'le pyromane' (the arsonist) states what this act is not the result of: an obsessive desire to set fire to things.'

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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