Ali Cherri unravels complex narratives of the environment and heritage in Lebanon and the broader region. His work seeks to document and meditate upon these landscapes, along with their cultures and heritages, as they undergo intense stress and ecological change. Inspired by archaeological artefacts and the natural world, the artist traces large-scale events that alter the geology and ecology of the land. He also explores the link between archaeology, historical narrative and heritage through sculptures, drawings and installations that delve into temporal shifts between ancient worlds and contemporary societies. In the wake of manmade and environmental changes to local landscapes, peoples and histories, his practice takes a meditative approach to the materiality of his subjects, reflecting on the myths and histories associated with the objects and substances he uses.
Cherri’s work has been presented in a number of solo exhibitions, including If you prick us, do we not bleed?, National Gallery, London (2022); The Breathless Forest, La Vitrine, Beirut (2019); Somniculus, Jeu de Paume, Paris, and CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux (2017); Dénaturé, Galerie Imane Farès, Paris (2017); From Fragment to Whole, Jönköpings läns Museum, Sweden (2017); and A Taxonomy of Fallacies, Sursock Museum, Beirut (2016). His work has also been featured in group exhibitions such as the 13th Gwangju Biennale (2020); The Gatekeepers, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille (2020); Prospectif Cinema, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); 14th Lyon Biennial (2017); Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbors, MAXXI, Rome (2017); But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016); Desires and Necessities, MACBA, Barcelona (2015); Lest the Two Seas Meet, Warsaw Museum of Modern Art (2015); and Songs of Loss and Songs of Love, Gwangju Museum of Art (2014).
Cherri’s work can be found in the collections of the Guggenheim, New York; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul; and Sharjah Art Foundation.
His films have been shown in a number of international film festivals, including Cairo Film Festival; Cannes Film Festival; New Directors/New Films, MoMA, New York; Cinéma du Réel, Centre Pompidou, Paris; CPH:DOX, Copenhagen; Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF); VideoBrasil; Berlinale; Toronto International Film Festival; and San Francisco International Film Festival. He received the New Vision Award at CPH:DOX (2015) and Best Director, Muhr Arab Award, at DIFF (2013).
Among his other awards are the Rockefeller Foundation Award (2017), Harvard University’s Robert E. Fulton Fellowship (2016) and a Sharjah Art Foundation Production Grant (2014).
He holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the American University of Beirut (2000) and a master’s in performing arts from the DAS Graduate School, Amsterdam (2005).
Born in 1976 in Beirut, Cherri currently lives and works in Paris.
Sharjah Biennial 15 (2023)
Sharjah Film Platform (December 2019)
March Meeting 2018
Production Programme 2014
March Meeting 2018: Active Forms
Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present