Screening in the presence of the artist
The NMNM and the Institut audiovisuel de Monaco have chosen to collaborate by programming creations of artists whose practice stands in between cinema and contemporary art : films that are singular by their from, their narrative system, but also their production and diffusion mode. For this season, the Institut audiovisuel de Monaco’s Tout l’art du cinéma programme presents Ali Cherri’s The Dam, 2022
Born in Beirut in 1976, Ali Cherri grew up in a country in the midst of civil war. Trained at the American University of Beirut and at DasArt – Academy of Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam, his work questions the construction of historical narratives through films, videos, sculptures and installations. The motifs of trauma and ruin are recurrent in his work, where telluric materials and archaeological objects are combined, opposed or degraded to bring out the traces of the past. In Trembling Landscapes (2014-2016), he highlights the fault lines that led to catastrophic earthquakes, juxtaposing a series of aerial maps of Beirut, Algiers, Damascus, Erbil, Mecca, and Tehran, with examples of political unrest. In 2017, for Somniculus, he filmed deserted galleries in Parisian museums, highlighting the relationship between the objects on display and the society that surrounds them. Recently invited for a residency at the National Gallery in London, he took an interest in paintings that have fallen into disrepair, viewing them as wounded bodies.
Ali Cherri now lives between Beirut and Paris. He was awarded the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2022. The Dam, selected by the Cannes Film Festival – La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2022, is his first feature film.
L’instantané « Monaco en films », from the Institut audiovisuel de Monaco’s collection.
France, Sudan, Liban, Germany, Serbia, Qatar, 2022, colour, 80 min., subtitled original version.
Directed by Ali Cherri. Screenplay : Ali Cherri, Geoffrey Grison in collaboration with Bertrand Bonello. Image : Bassem Fayad. Special effects : Mel Massadian. Original soundtrack : ROB. Editing : Isabelle Manquillet, Nelly Quettier. Production : KinoElektron, Galerie Imane Farès, Vega Foundation, DGL Travel, Twenty Twenty Vision, Trilema. Starring : Maher El Khair (Maher).
Sudan, near the Merowe Dam. Maher works in a traditional brick factory fed by the waters of the Nile. Every night, he secretly ventures into the desert to build a mysterious structure made of mud. As the Sudanese people rise up to demand their freedom, his creation seems to come alive…
In The Dam, Maher, a worker in a traditional brick factory in Sudan, shapes the clay, aligns the blocks, stacks them, in a controlled movement, repeated a thousand times. Ali Cherri captures the same choreography in different, stunning shots, the geometry of the “cobblestones” lending itself to the exercise of beauty: colors of clay, silver sun, ignition of a kiln like a firework, jets of smoke coming out of the walls “valves”. When will they be able to let go of the pressure? Bodies bent, curved, lifting, then, finally, at rest, bathing in the waters of the Nile, washing themselves of this grueling work. At the bottom of his back, Maher’s skin reddens and cracks, like dried out earth. The camera focuses on his magnetic gaze.
Théâtre des Variétés, 1 bd. Albert Ier
Tickets on sale on site on the night of the projection.
Admission : 6 €
Students and people under 21 years old : 3 €
Parking : Condamine
Bus : Place d’Armes or Stade nautique