Ali Cherri
Pipe Dreams | 2011
2 channel video installation. 5 min. Ed. 2/2 AP

In an historic phone call between the late President Hafez al-Assad and the Syrian astronaut Muhammed Faris, we witness the father of the nation questioning the hero about his impressions as he looks down on the Syrian lands. A conversation that features the eternal leader, who, from the comforts of his office, casts a watchful eye on the children of the nation, even as they are thousands of miles away up in space. Twenty-five years later, at the beginning of the upheavals in Syria in 2011, the authorities, fearing vandalism, dismantled the statues of Hafez el Assad in the protesting towns. Haunted by the image of statues destroyed, from Stalin to Saddam Hussein, the regime tried to head off the inevitable, sacrificing the Symbol in order to safeguard the Image.

Reference AC-VVI-2011-A

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).