• Probing beneath the Façade

    Date posted: January 12, 2009 Author: jolanta
    Loulou Cherinet’s work connects through the documentary, despite a deliberate staged setting. Cherinet focuses on setting the appropriate conditions for her storytelling. This can be a dinner party where a number of black people dressed in the same striped jersey tell stories about their relations with white women as in White Women (2002). In Personal Politics (2003) a nocturnal car ride through Cairo relays a sensation of possibility. The five Egyptian women featured in the film were asked to say something prophetic, and in an unconstrained manner, give voice to their thoughts and their lives. The stories contain, as in the black dinner guests’ stories, subject
    matter of obvious micro-political significance; life’s private business
    and its intimate details are continuously connected to a political
    reality.
    Image

    Magnus Barts

    Image
    Courtesy of the artist.

    Loulou Cherinet’s work connects through the documentary, despite a deliberate staged setting. Cherinet focuses on setting the appropriate conditions for her storytelling. This can be a dinner party where a number of black people dressed in the same striped jersey tell stories about their relations with white women as in White Women (2002). In Personal Politics (2003) a nocturnal car ride through Cairo relays a sensation of possibility. The five Egyptian women featured in the film were asked to say something prophetic, and in an unconstrained manner, give voice to their thoughts and their lives. The stories contain, as in the black dinner guests’ stories, subject matter of obvious micro-political significance; life’s private business and its intimate details are continuously connected to a political reality. These works move within a minefield of prejudice and preconceived ideas. In Personal Politics, an intermediary process is staged where the Egyptian women’s stories are simultaneously interpreted by local male interpreters, directly in the exhibition space. An alleged patriarchal order is redistributed through the act of using them but as a medium. But the whole situation does not occur as a simple turning of the position of power; the nocturnal travelers hardly give the impression of being inferior; at the same time, the male interpreters, through their body language, have the opportunity to relay messages concerning their attitude toward what is being said. 

    This article is an excerpt from If any slogans about art nature / Regarding some slogans around the nature of art.

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