musée d'art contemporain
de Bordeaux



// Publication / 2017 / Jeu de Paume / CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux / Maison d’Art Bernard Anthonioz



Texts by Osei Bonsu, Fabien Danesi and Ali Cherri






The Satellite programme of contemporary art exhibitions was started by the Jeu de Paume in 2007. Since 2015, this programme of exhibitions has been organised jointly by the Jeu de Paume and the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux. Each programme is conceived by an internationally renowned curator (Fabienne Fulchéri, María Inés Rodríguez, Elena Filipovic, Raimundas Malašauskas, Filipa Oliveira, Mathieu Copeland, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Erin Gleeson and Heidi Ballet).

            The tenth series, titled The Economy of Living Things and curated by Osei Bonsu, is concerned with the constant movement of bodies, plants, animals, artefacts and other cultural products across real and imagined borders. Structured as a four-part exhibition, it considers the visual recording of lived experience as a way of understanding the state of human progress today. In our broadening geopolitical landscape, we can observe the routes of traffic forcing the pathways of people, goods and processes into phases of conflict and agitation. Moving beyond the notion of mapping history, new works commissioned from Ali Cherri, Oscar Murillo, Steffani Jemison and Jumana Manna will travel through unknown and familiar spaces to render visible the undocumented journeys undertaken by living things.

            Each exhibition is accompanied by a publication that was conceived as a carte blanche for the curator and artists. This series of books, each of which was created in close collaboration with a graphic design agency, forms an independent artistic space within the Satellite programme.




CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, 2 February to 30 April 2017

Jeu de Paume, Paris, 14 February to 28 May 2017

In his new film Somniculus (Light Sleep), Ali Cherri turns his attention to the deepening relationship between the processes by which artefacts are excavated, collected and classified and the way these artefacts are understood through controlled systems of representation. Capturing the inner life of French ethnographic and anthropological museums, it presents a world in which fragments of past civilizations have come to represent the universality of human experience. Preserved within the structure of the museum display, artefacts live on as containers of their own place and time. Their physical trajectories, their possible roles in the narratives of Enlightenment, imperialism and colonialism, cannot be traced. What remains are fragments of the past defined by constructed narratives and understood only through ideological regimes of representation. The objects seem less than alive, yet they speak to us and haunt us still. Just as we watch them, they watch over us. Here, looking is not simply a political act of questioning the reality before us, but an act of imagining a reality beyond the visible. To enter into a phase of “light sleep” is to engage the waking imagination. Like the weightlessness of objects suspended outside of time, the body is neither dead nor alive but waiting to be awakened.

            This book accompanying the exhibition by Ali Cherri, part of the Satellite programme 10, includes texts by Osei Bonsu, Fabien Danesi and the artist.



The artist

Ali Cherri is a video and visual artist. His current project looks at the place of the archaeological object in the construction of historical narratives. In recent years, he has unearthed systems of archaeological preservation, exploring the history of ruins and cartography in the context of the Middle East and North Africa’s pre- and post-colonial histories.

            Ali Cherri was born in 1976 in Beirut. He received a BA in graphic design from the American University in Beirut in 2000, and an MA in performing arts from DasArts, Amsterdam, in 2005. Cherri has participated in the exhibitions But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise (Guggenheim New York, 2016), A Taxonomy of Fallacies: The Life of Dead Objects (solo exhibition, Sursock Museum, Beirut, 2016), Matérialité de l’Invisible (Centquatre, Paris, 2016), Time out of Joint (Sharjah Art Space, 2016), Earth and Ever After (Saudi Art Council, Jeddah, 2016), Desires and Necessities (MACBA, Spain, 2015), Lest the Two Seas Meet (Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Poland, 2015), Mare Medi Terra (Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Spain, 2015) and Songs of Loss and Songs of Love (Gwangju Museum of Art, South Korea, 2014).

            Ali Cherri lives and works in Paris and Beirut. He is represented by the Imane Farès Gallery.



The curator

Osei Bonsu is an independent curator and writer based in London. His writing has been included in a number of museum and exhibition catalogues including the 56th Venice Biennial Exhibition and Milan EXPO Arts and Food at La Triennale di Milano. He is the founding director of CRANE, and has developed a number of projects focused on international art, including Pangea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America (Saatchi Gallery, 2015) and 1-54 Art Fair (2013–14). He advises private and not-for-profit arts organizations and contributes to publications such as New African, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Mousse Magazine, and Art Review among others.





Texts by : Osei Bonsu,  Fabien Danesi and Ali Cherri

Graphic design: Villa Böhnke

Co-edition : Jeu de Paume / CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux / Maison d’Art Bernard Anthonioz

Distribution : Les presses du réel



Public selling price: 14€ / E-pub version : 6,99€

Number of pages: 64 pages, paperback, 15 x 21 cm

Language: Bilingual French / English

CAPC diffusion

ISBN: 978-2-87721-232-8 // 978-2-915704-67-9
Web Magazine Online

> la collection en ligne <