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loulou cherinet

Born in 1970, Göteborg. Her mother is Swedish, father comes from Ethiopia. She was brought up in Sweden, got acquainted with Ethiopia at the age of 24. Lives and works in Stockholm. Video is her major medium. Her works frequently focus on the alienation of people belonging to different cultures. Cherinet's films are often documentaries, close-ups, with limited or no commentary. She combines freely individual and political contexts.

Bleeding Men I (2003), shown at Africa Remix Exhibition in Düsseldorf in 2004, is recognized among her most significant works. It shows bleeding man in a sterile, unreal room; their black bodies contrast with the white surrounding: the tile floor and walls. Through the presence of blood, this esthetically sophisticated narrative evokes associations with civil wars, violence, terror and AIDS epidemic in Africa. Bleeding Man II generates similar impressions with a series of scenes in which on the surface of an asphalted road there are masses of bodies, mysterious stones-boulders in the hands of black people observed by passers-by.

Another film from the same series features an ambiguous and disturbing scene in which a group of fully dressed men is watching a naked woman who is asleep. The artist often focuses on a problem of sexual discrimination, questioning the issue of identity.

In White women (2002) black men talk about white women approaching them as unreachable objects of desire. At the same time a white woman is serving them lunch which questions the stereotype of a master and servant.

The cycle of photographs White man shows white man Cherinet encountered in Africa in situations, only very slightly arranged by the artist, in which he is always in the centre of attention for all local people - he is being "looked at". We can sense the tension produced by the arrival of the Stranger. Local people move close to him, agree to be photographed with him like an exotic and rare animal, famous actor or mascot. At this very moment he is a local attraction, focusing everybody's attention.

Opening photographs and frames towards the viewer is a characteristic element of Loulou Cherinet's work. Experimenting with his/her perception and the secrets of perspective, "in" and "out of" the frame, the artist makes him/her feel that he/she observes people at a close distance.

^ Loulou Cherinet, The Alegory of the Cock, photography, 2006

^ Loulou Cherinet, Bleeding Men III, video, 2006

^ Loulou Cherinet, Bleeding Men II, video, 2005

^ Loulou Cherinet, Bleeding Men I, video, 2003

^ Loulou Cherinet, Imaging the Book, video, 2003

^ Loulou Cherinet, White Women, video, 2002

^ Loulou Cherinet, White Men, lambda print, 2001

^ Loulou Cherinet, Inetrview Series, video, 2001

"- There was this blind man walking down the street...
- Ah...
- He was walking in Mercado, and it was damn hot! Midday, you know, the sun was throwing shadows in the dust like a magnifier in a piece of fresh wood. Very hot, very bright day!
- Hmm...
- Now, this man had been blind since birth and... Suddenly, the man can see! He can see, but only for a few seconds. He's been walking inside this darkness, and then comes the light, then boom... Black again. He couldn't believe his eyes.
- Man, ... strange things can happen.
- Yes, and when this happened he just stopped. He stopped right there, in the middle of the street and stared in front of him. He saw what he saw...
- What did he see?
- How can he know? You know he was used to feel things with his hands, like this... But what he did was he called for help and a little girl came to him. And he told her, and he moved his hands in front of him. He pointed down in front of him and he asked the girl. - What is this? What is this down here in front of me? And the girl said: - Ah, that... you mean this? That is a cock.
- A cock?
- Yes. He saw the cock, but only for a few seconds.
- Hmm...
- Now this man, a few days later, he was invited to his best friends wedding. Big wedding. Hundreds of guests, lot's of meat and everybody got drunk. It was a great wedding. And so late that night, the blind man sits down with his friend and his friend is very happy. The groom is looking at his wife dancing and he praises her beauty: - My woman is like ripe fruit, he says with pride. Like dark raptures of black wine, with a mouth that gives music too my mouth... his friend told him proudly, and the blind man said:
- Does she look like a cock?"

Loulou Cherinet , Alegoria kutasa, "Gagarin nr12"

"...that's a long story you know. Because the black man's dream, all his life, is to fuck a blonde. To go to bed with a white woman. It doesn't matter if she's a Swede, an Italian or American or whatever...
- You are generalizing! No! Not all black men. There are some black men who doesn't want to have...
- I agree with you. You should never generalize. There are always exceptions.
-Yes, mm... one out of hundred."

Dialogue from video White Women 2002, a story has no beginning or end,
African Sniper Reader

"Looking at the life of Loulou Cherinet, we are immediately overwhelmed by a confused feeling; her career seems stamped with the seal of doubt, exploration and quest. What could appear at first sight to be instability reveals itself, on closer examination, to be the sign of a longing to control her artistic language. This becomes obvious when you talk to her. The questions she asks herself are not those of a poseur, but rather the questioning of an artist who forever challenges truths that are too simple. She is one of those beings who, all life long, ask themselves questions on the validity of their art and the legitimacy of their work. They are not aware that this ontological questioning already constitutes part of the works, part of the artist's 'trade'. Naturally, there are no rules. There is however, this angst, this fundamental doubt, which urges artists to explore, to look further and not to harbour comfortable illusions. Artists cannot resort to lying. They can lie to others, to the whole world, but for their work to express itself for what it is, they cannot lie to themselves for fear of admitting their incapacity to create; that is, to take part in the Nietzschean celebration of God's death."

Simon Njami, from the catalogue, Biennale of Sydney 2004

"A documentary and biographical tone pervades in the works of Loulou Cherinet. They always include actual people in more or less arranged situations. She makes no secret of the fact that the situations in her films and photos are constructed, but the difference between reality and image is not that great. The actors in her films always play themselves, even if the situation is arranged, but it may not differ much from the situations and the parts they - and the viewer - normally have in the social space."

Rodrigo Mallea Lira, Swedish Hearts, from the catalogue

loulou cherinet

b. 1970, Göteborg, Sweden
1996 studied at the University of Fine Arts and Industrial Forms , Addis Abeba
from 2001 studied at the Royal University Collage of Fine Arts in Stockholm
from 2001 has lived and worked in Stockholm

selected solo exhibitions:

Reparation, Husby Konsthall, Stockholm, S

Loulou Cherinet DANDELION, Halle für Kunst Lüneburg, Lüneburg, D

Loulou Cherinet, Yeans Göteborg, Göteborg, S
Next Flag, Espacio C, Camargo, E

Identities, Galeria Asni, Addis Abeba, ETH

The Dramatic Setting of 8 Painting, the University of Fine Arts and Industrial Forms, Addis Abeba, ETH

Fernj Series, the University of Fine Arts and Industrial Forms , Addis Abeba, ETH

Peintures, TIM Gallery, Jakarta, RI

selected group exhibitions:

How to Live Together, 27th Biennial of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, BR
Artifacts, Friluftmuseet Murberget, Härnösand, S
Africa Remix, Mori Art Museum, Tokio, J
The Moderna Exhibition, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, S
Ideal, Museum Anna Nordlander, Skelleftea, S
A Fiesta of Tough Choices, IASPIS, Stockholm, S
Främmande, Östergötlands Länsmuseum, Linköping, S

Masculinities, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, D
In Memory of Anna-Lisa Thomson, Uppsala, S
Pursuit of Happiness, Beyond Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht / Amsterdam, NL
Analogue Fictions, Istanbul Isveç Araºtirma Enstitüsü, Istambul, TR
Monster, Länsmuseet pa Gotland, Visby, S
Frictions, Goethe Institute, Nairobi, EAK
Translocal, Möllans Köpcentrum, Malmö, S
ME, Centro Cultural Telemar, Rio de Janeiro, BR
Imagining the Book II Biennale, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, ET
Emotion Pictures, MuHKA, Antwerp, B
The Healers, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, GB
AFRICA REMIX, Contemporary Art From a Continent, Hayward Gallery, London, GB; Centre Pompidou, Paris, F
Videostafett, Gävle Konstcentrum, Gävle, S
E-FLUX Video Rental, 53 Ludlow Street, New York, USA
4U, The Expomobile, touring exhibition, S

HORISONTER. Voices From a Global Africa, Världskulturmuseet, Göteborg, S
Minority Report: Challenging Intolerance in Contemporary Denmark, Ridehuset, Aarhus, DK
AFRICA REMIX. Contemporary Art From a Continent, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, D
TEMPO. Documentary Festival, Zita, Stockholm, S
Svenska Hjärtan, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, S
On Reason and Emotion, Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, AUS
Curator's Choice - Camouflage, Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt, D
Alien 3, W139, Amsterdam, NL
Ou sont les femmes?, Le lieu Unique, Nantes, F

Rites sacré, rites profanes. Vemes recontres de la photographie africaine, Bamako, Mali
OM... Storytelling in Contemporary Swedish Art, Konstmuseum, Norrköping, S
The African Exile Museum, Migros Museum, Zurich, CH
Costa Reis Compilacao de Arte Africana Actual, CCASA Camouflage, Brussels, B
Liebe im Ausland, Kunstverein, Düsseldorf, D
Big City Small Village, Konstens Hus, Lulea, S
Es ist schwer das Reale zu berühren, Kunstverein, Monachium, D
Arghh, Edsvik Art & Culture, Stockholm, S
L'Europe fantome, Galeria Vertebra, Brussels, B
Pip Show, Oslo, N

OBSERVATORIO 1, CCASA Camouflage, Brussels, B
En direct de Bamako, Fnac Etoile, Paris, F
Made in Africa, Spacio Oberdan, Milan, I

Memoires intimes d'un noveau millenaire, 4th Encounters of African Photography, Bamako, Mali

Off the Wall, Alliance Ethio-Francaise, Addis Abeba, ETH


- The Allegory of The Cock. Loulou Cherinet, "Gagarin" 12 / 2005, GAGAvzw.
- Next Flag - The African Sniper Reader - Eine Anthologie, Migros Museum, Zurych 2005.
- Anders Olofsson, Galleri Mejan, Stockholm: Loulou Cherinet & Mattias Fröberg (30/4 - 11/5),, 2005.
- Karin Mansson, Videostafett lyckligt i mal, "Arbetarbladet", 2005.
Jessica Kempe, Ett seende kodat av kulturen, "Dagens Nyheter", review 2005.
- Svenska hjärtan, Moderna Museet, Zurych 2004 (exhibition catalogue).
- Reasonemotion, Biennale of Sydney, Sydney 2004 (exhibition catalogue).
- Catrin Lundqvist, Videokonstens väg in i vardagsrummet, "Konstperspektiv", 2004.
- OM, Riksutställningar, Stockholm 2004 (exhibition catalogue).
- Sonia Hedstrand, Fran svetsfogar till sex, vald och videoband, "Dagens Nyheter", 2004.
- Arghh, Edsvik Art & Culture, Stockholm 2003 (exhibition catalogue).
- Rites sacré / rites profanes. Vemés recontres de la photographie africaine, 2003 (exhibition catalogue).
- Anders Sjögren, Svarta män och vita kvinnor, "Västerbotten Kuriren", 2003.
- Hakan Nilsson, Övertygelser med finurlig spets, "Dagens Nyheter", 2003.
- John Peter Nilsson, Fortfarande vet han inte vart hon tog vägen, "Aftonbladet", 2002.
- Madeinafrica_Fotografia, Afritudine & Provincia di Milano, Ferrara 2002 (exhibition catalogue).
- Mémoires intimesd'un noveau millénaire, IVemés recontres de la photographie africaine, 2001 (exhibition catalogue).
- Mayra Paredes, buildings within buildings, "Capital", 2001.
- Indrias Getachew, Loulou Miriam Cherinet: off the wall, "Addis Tribune" 2000.
- Asni gallery featuring lulu ones again, "Addis Tribune", 2000.
- Yos Nzal Sunaji, Melukis di kelengangan hutan, "Republika Minggu", 1993.
- Jim Supangkat, Instalasi di reruntuhan, "Kompas", 1993.
- Memindahkan kegelisahan ke dalam tumpukan garis dan warna, "Kumara Dewatasari", 1993.
- S. Malela Mahargasari, Menghela garis, mengendalikan emosi, "Tempo", 1993.

[Translated by Ma³gorzata Sady]

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16 XI - 31 XII 2006
shahram entekhabi
It’s Been a Long Way, Baby...

23 III - 22 IV 2007
wael shawky
The Forty Days Road. Wet culture - Dry Culture

27 IV - 03 VI 2007
olaf breuning
Woman and Dead

06 VII - 02 IX 2007
jesper alvaer, isabela grosseova
Figure and Ground

07 IX - 21 X 2007
adrian paci
Spaces in-between

13 XII - 27 I 2008
loulou cherinet

The conference is a part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in Poland


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