In 2019, Ali Arkady discovered some monoliths stones, about a hundred years old, that the Beaux-Arts were planning to throw away. He was overwhelmed by these stones, the ages they had passed, the importance of their stories, and all the culture and tradition they symbolize. At the collective exhibition of the Mesiti workshop to which he is attached in Beaux-Arts, he exposed the stones for the first time and showed his videos, having overlaid the stones and spread them throughout the gallery. After this first stage of deconstructing the classical use of a stone, he combines this discovery with another one: lithography, when he was in Bouwens atelier. Invented by Aloys Senefelder in 1796 but definitively developed in the first years of the 19th century, lithography, from the Greek word lithos: "stone" and graphein: "to write", is a printing technique that allows the creation and reproduction in multiple copies of a line executed with ink or pencil on a limestone. This technique reminds Ali Arkady of the printing of old newspapers and links his works to his background as a journalist.
Through his art, Ali seeks to tell stories, to transmit what he has seen and heard. He wants to talk about the past, the present, the future. The choice of the stone as support anchors his work in a relationship with time. Specifically today, in the digital age, it leaves a timeless trace to his testimonies. The superimposition of his photographs on these stones puts in tension different periods and subjects. His works create a relationship between these stories, these moments that were not meant to cross each other. Ali Arkady calls this technic Monolithography . He writes stories with these works and more deeply, writes History in images, drawing from the sources of the Euphrates and Tigers, clay, and the first writings of the world. Photography etymologically means writing with light. By bringing together the symbol of monolith stone, on which the first images were painted and the first laws were engraved, and the testimony of light through photography, naturally emancipating itself from the heaviness of the stone, Ali Arkady uses the very foundations of History to bring out his contemporary own story.
Ali Arkady, frontier artist.
Ali Arkady's artistic production itself plays upon another frontier : the one between art and journalism. His works are standing on the border between the two, or rather is making them exist simultaneously. Both journalism and art influenced and intertwined in all spheres of his life. They became inseparable for him. Journalism in the sense that Ali Arkady adapts it, comes from a powerful willing to break down the walls of the big medias, transcend the opaque borders of disinformation. Reveal war crimes, show the truth of the daily lives of invisible people, of what remains inaccessible to the medias on an international scale. The way Ali Arkady uses art free it from its purely esthetic frames without any concrete meaning. His technic, therefore, persists in transcending the limits of the mediums he works with, which he transforms and diverts from their use. Ali Arkady is someone who always seeks to go beyond borders: his own borders, the borders of his creation, the socio-political borders as much as those of the art world.
Laure Despres and Elias Wallach