A peculiar way of tying together political issues and personal memories is present throughout the work of Lebanese artist Ali Cherri, who was introduced to the Brazilian community via the 15th Videobrasil (2005). In Un Cercle autour du Soleil, his debut video, he tells seminal stories that happened to him during the domestic confinement that civil war in Lebanon would often force people into. The video hints at a body of work characterized by a need to communicate elements of the war experience, as well as by the ever-present line between fiction and memory. It won him the FAAP Digital Arts Prize, which included an academic residency at the Visual Arts School at Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado in São Paulo, in addition to the production of an audiovisual work.
This 15th FF>>Dossier-the first in a series of six editions that will profile artists awarded at the 15th Videobrasil-delves deeper into the sometimes disturbing work of Ali Cherri. The excerpts featured in the Works section include most of the production-as succinct as it is powerful-of performances, videos, installations, stage designs, and photomontages created by Cherri after he graduated in Graphic Design in Beirut and while he earned his master's degree in Performing Arts in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
In the essay Endless Fall, Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari points to similarities between his experience and Ali's, as he reflects about the psychological effects of the conflict. In the Interview, Cherri mentions both the war experience and the recurrence of death in his work: “I like to inspect this hazy line between being alive and being dead, between Beirut, the metropolis or the necropolis. I wonder if anyone makes it out of the war alive,” claims the artist.
By focusing on a young representative of postwar Lebanese art, Associação Cultural Videobrasil adds new elements to an ongoing overview of that intriguing production, previously presented in the Possible Narratives exhibition, during the 14th Videobrasil, and in A Glimpse of One Man's Vision, of the Videobrasil Authors Collection series.
Further info on this artist available at the collection