Conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (SB15) reflects on Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed contemporary art and established an ambitious intellectual project that has influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world.
Hoor Al Qasimi interprets and re-envisions the titular proposal by the late thinker to critically center the past within the contemporary moment. Al Qasimi develops the concept of ‘thinking historically in the present’ by adopting a working methodology that privileges the role of intuition and incidence. Acknowledging the effect Enwezor’s documenta 11 had in transforming her curatorial consciousness, she also builds upon her own long-term relationship with the Biennial, as visitor, artist, curator, and eventually, as director of the Foundation, an institution that came into being as a result of the Biennial, a fact Enwezor appreciably recognized.
“What does it mean to be ‘an agent of change’? (…) Over the past nine months, in hundreds of conversations, text messages, Zoom calls and meetings – stated Lesley Lokko – the question of whether exhibitions of this scale — both in terms of carbon and cost — are justified, has surfaced time and again. In May last year, I referred to the exhibition several times as ‘a story’, a narrative unfolding in space. Today, my understanding has changed. An architecture exhibition is both a moment and a process. It borrows its structure and format from art exhibitions, but it differs from art in critical ways which often go unnoticed. Aside from the desire to tell a story, questions of production, resources and representation are central to the way an architecture exhibition comes into the world, yet are rarely acknowledged or discussed. From the outset, it was clear that the essential gesture of The Laboratory of the Future would be ‘change’.”
Ali Cherri is taking part in the exhbition “Orientalism, The construction of images of the Near East and of North Africa (1800-1956)” at IVAM, l’Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, cur. Rogelio López Cuenca and Sergio Rubira.
“This exhibition seeks to analyse and question some of those commonplaces in the images that were produced between the time of the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798-1801) and 1956, the year when Morocco and Tunisia gained their independence. The show highlights the way in which avant-garde movements established relationships with Oriental “exoticism” in their attempt to break away from the canon of tradition.”
Ali Cherri, Hybrids (E), 2018
Eye presents a group exhibition that explores landscape with some of the Arab world’s most prominent artists who work with film and video. In this exhibition, the participating artists challenge and reshape views of the region by drawing on a host of complex and entangled issues, ranging from geography and conflict to belonging. Including works by Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou Rahme, Heba Y. Amin, Jananne Al-Ani, Ali Cherri, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Mohamad Hafeda, Larissa Sansour, Hrair Sarkissian, and Wael Shawky.
Curated by Nat Muller in collaboration with Jaap Guldemond and Marente Bloemheuvel.
Image: Ali Cherri, Trembling Landscapes, 2014. Installation view: Eye Filmmuseum © Studio Hans Wilschut
Ali Cherri participates in the collective exhibition La vie des tables at the Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, coproduced by Festival d’Automne à Paris, cur. Claire Le Restif.
“Whether in the kitchen, workshop or office, tables embody the place where intuitions take shape and are sometimes the only place where artists can work. La vie des tables pays tribute to this relationship with the “work table” – a place of refuge, play-area and obligatory passing-place.”
Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, Ivry-sur-Seine, France
Image: Ali Cherri, La Mort dans l’âme, 2020, Photo: Marc Domage / le Crédac
Ali Cherri is taking part in the exhibition The Park: Becoming a Body of Water, one of the exhibitions of “Traits d’union.s”, the central program of Manifesta 13 Marseille.
This exhibition will look at the links between nature and culture, between human beings and other living creatures, based on the history of the two museums. The artists involved in this project are Minia Biabiany, Center for Creative Ecologies (collective composed by Isabelle Carbonell, Hannah Meszaros Martin, T. J. Demos), Ali Cherri, Peter Fend, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho, Reena Spaulings.
Musée des Beaux-Arts and Museum of Natural History, Marseille, France
Image: Ali Cherri, The Gatekeepers, 2020. © Jean Christophe Lett / Manifesta
Ali Cherri participates in the collective exhibition Comme un parfum d’aventure at macLYON, cur. by Marilou Laneuville and Matthieu Lelièvre.
“”With a Hint of Adventure” is an exhibition directly inspired by the recent collective, worldwide experience of confinement, which was imposed more or less simultaneously for health reasons on the majority of people on the planet. Its main thrust is an exploration of the question of travel, whether impeded or imposed, voluntary or provoked, individually or in a group, and the consequences of it for those affected. It takes the form of an investigation across history, drawing on the collections of the Lyon Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée d’Art Contemporain (macLYON)”
macLYON, Lyon, France
Image: Ali Cherri, The Flying Machine, 2017. Installation view: MACLyon, 2020 © Photo Blaise Adilon.
Ali Cherri is the second Artist in Residence to be chosen since the launch of the Gallery’s new Modern and Contemporary Programme, following the first appointment of Rosalind Nashashibi in 2019.
The award is a collaboration with the Contemporary Art Society, while the UK Partner Museum for this residency will be the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, marking the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.
The videos featured in In-Between Days explore themes of isolation, confrontation, and occupation—states of being that have come to set the terms of daily life for many. Several portray solitary or paired figures engaged in moments of struggle, perseverance, or introspection. Some consider ways that historical systems of power are embedded in architecture and the land. Others depict realms of fantasy, offering moments of respite through dreamlike or abstract images.
Ali Cherri, The Digger, 2015. Installation view In-Between-Days, 2021. Photo : David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Hungry for Time developed through a collaboration with the Academy’s own expertise while taking the current decolonialism discourse in art and cultural studies into account, thereby opening up a new way of perceiving the art collections. Raqs Media Collective presents a show that apprehends time from the perspective of hunger and desire, the eponymous hunger for time. In eleven scenes this hunger for time is outlined in more detail. The scenes assemble artworks from all three of the historical collections and relate these to contemporary art, including works commissioned especially for the exhibition.
Ali Cherri, The Digger, film still.
The exhibition, designed in co-production with the Pompidou Centre, offers an unprecedented dialogue between its exceptional collections and pieces by Lebanese artists of all generations. Produced in recent years or following the tragic explosions of 4th August 2020, their works are tracing out possible paths to the future, between despair and gentleness, exiles and new anchorages.
Ali Cherri, Staring at a Thousand Splendid Suns, 2021. Photo : Tadzio
Ali Cherri, our Artist in Residence, presents work that considers how histories of trauma can be explored through a response to museum and gallery collections. This exhibition, ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed?’ introduces cabinets of curiosity into the heart of the Sainsbury Wing, containing assembled fragments that might look like relics from another collection.
Ali Cherri, Photograph from the series And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?, 2021.
The Exhibition will take place in the Central Pavilion (Giardini) and in the Arsenale, including 213 artists from 58 countries; 180 of these are participating for the first time in the International Exhibition.
Titan 1, 2 & 3, 2022. © Ali Cherri
Thank you to the Jury of the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, comprising Adrienne Edwards (USA), President of the Jury, Lorenzo Giusti (Italy), Julieta González (Mexico), Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Cameroon) and Susanne Pfeffer (Germany).
The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art being held in Kochi, Kerala every two years. Through the celebration of contemporary art from around the world, The Kochi-Muziris Biennale seeks to invoke the historic cosmopolitan legacy of the modern metropolis of Kochi, and its mythical predecessor, the ancient port of Muziris. In cooperation with the Muziris Heritage Project, The Kochi–Muziris Biennale seeks to link the past with the modern day present.
This 5th edition is curated by the artist and writer Shubigi Rao.
“This edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale therefore embodies the joy of experiencing practices of divergent sensibilities, under conditions both joyful and grim. There is optimism even in the darkest absurdity, and this is what leavens the direness of our time. It is in the robustness of humour that we can imagine the possibility of sustained kinship, and remember that we are not isolated in this fight. And that perhaps all that is required for an impossible ideal to exist is for enough people to live, think, and work as if it already does.”
Sudan, near the Merowe dam. Maher works in a traditional brickyard fed by the waters of the Nile. Every evening, he secretly wanders off into the desert to build a mysterious construction made of mud. While the Sudanese people rise to claim their freedom, his creation starts to take a life of its own…