Helsinki Photography Biennial 27.3.–14.5.2014

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Meet HPB14 artist Ali Cherri

Helsinki Photography Biennial is proud to present visual artist and designer Ali Cherri, born in Beirut. He works mostly with video, installation, performance, multimedia and print. Ali Cherri shares his time between Beirut and Paris, but last week he came to Helsinki to delve into the archives of The Finnish Museum of Photography as a part of his work for HPB14. We met up with Ali Cherri to ask a few questions about the ongoing process.

He explained to us that from the very beginning he was interested in finding a series of photographs made for a specific commercial or political reason. When we met, he had already been working in the archives for a couple of days and was hence ready to reveal that for HPB14 he is going to work with, among others, the cow series by the well-known Finnish photographer I. K. Inha (1865-1930), taken for the Paris Expo of 1900.

His initial idea is to manipulate the original series by projecting them as two separate slideshows and adding text to them. In some sense the visuals will play the role of a metronome in the story created by him, the artist explained. He’s aim is to unfold the relation between a text and an image and the new meaning therefore arising.

Ali Cherri often deals with the issues of social and political environments through his works. Recently he has been interested in the relationship and the mutual impact of social media sharing channels and institutional archives. He is not sure of the outcome of his archive work yet, but he is quite certain it will correspond to his previous work.

Written by Anastasia Gavrilova-Hamel