Since the late 1960s, Chaouki Choukini has developed an astoundingly consistent aesthetic worldview. His sculptural works, mainly in wood but occasionally in marble or stone, range from horizontal Lieux and Paysages to upright, anthropomorphic, almost totemic figures. At first glance, the works may appear somewhat primitivist. A closer look, however, reveals a sophisticated interrogation of organic and mechanical worlds, where curvaceous mounds are punctuated by a regiment of pegs, or undulating bases bristle with teeth-like crags. Discursively, Choukini layers an eerie latency into his works: mazes of slits, recesses, and multi-level cavities evoke some vanished human presence on the tense horizon line; the ubiquitous “cord” is a taut yet silent marker of dormant sound. Choukini is tantalizingly dark. His is a world of brooding, empty spaces, where narratives struggle to tell themselves, and everything is in suspense.
Published by Kaph Books, Beirut with an in-depth essay by Kevin Jones and contribution by Salah Stétié. Designed by Scope Ateliers, Beirut.
Hardcover, 169 pages, English/French, 2019
The publication is available at Green Art Gallery, Dubai
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