Dust and other Anxieties | 2013
Archival inkjet print mounted on dibond. 90 x 160 cm. Ed. 3/3 (+ 2AP)
'Dust and Other Anxieties' is inspired by Ali Cherri's 2012 video installation 'Pipe Dreams'. The video captures a historic phone call between the late Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and Syrian military aviator and astronaut Mohammed Ahmed Faris, who was part of the 1987 Soviet Interkosmos space programme.
In 'Dust and Other Anxieties', Cherri transposes a statue of Al-Assad – one that still stands in Lattakia – to a desert. The effigy is almost swallowed by a cloud of dust, similar to one created by a spacecraft in the process of lift-off. Through the haze, we perceive what was once a symbol of authority vanishing in a desolate landscape; it is far removed from the signs of life in the foreground, the recent passage of cars per-haps. The monument is seemingly lost in a vast, dusty and claustrophobic post-apocalyptic panorama and is almost forgotten in the background, taking up only a small fraction of the image. Cherri renders the main event a non-event: vulnerable in the midst of a majestic desert, the figure of Al-Assad becomes a haunting after-image, already a ghost of the past. This portrait of a landscape captures the moment when the figurehead begins to lose his power, both as a political figure and as a dominant, and dominating, idea. 'Dust and Other Anxieties' is not a political statement; rather, it is a projection of a hazy, complex and polarised reality. It is a poetic disappearance that leaves us anxious about the void it creates.
Biography of the artist
Born in Beirut, Lebanon. 1976
Works and Lives in Beirut and Paris
Ali Cherri is a video and visual artist based in Beirut and Paris. He is currently conducting a research with the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) and the Deutsche Aarchäologische Institut (DAI) on the place of the archeological object in the construction of national historical narratives.
In his videos, drawings and sculptural installations, Ali Cherri dissects the geopolitical situation in Lebanon and its neighbouring countries with a distanced as well as involved look. Fragile basements and a history of earthquakes in the region seem to reflect the perpetual crises. Digital manipulations create an intense and distressing confusion between the real and the virtual. Cherri seeks new perspectives, different points of analysis between fall and rise, archaeology and the conquest of space – from Pipe Dreams to Bird’s Eye View.
His recent exhibitions includes Desires and Necessities at MACBA (Spain, 2015), Lest the Two Seas Meet at Warsaw Museum of Modern Art (Poland 2015), Mare Medi Terra at Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma (Spain, 2015), Songs of Loss and Songs of Love at Gwangju Museum of Art (South Korea, 2014).
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