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With photographs, videos, installations, films, and performances that are focused on his native Palestine, multidisciplinary artist Khaled Jarrar explores the impact of modern-day power struggles on ordinary citizens while seeking to maximise the social potential of artistic interventions. Over the last decade, Jarrar has used the subject of Palestine, particularly the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, as a starting point for larger investigations of militarised societies, including the gendered spaces of violence and the links between economic and state powers that fuel and profit from war or political conflict.
Jarrar’s bold, and sometimes controversial, projects often include various media and have earned him international recognition, most recently Jarrar has be nominated for the 2018 Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation, and the recipient of the 2016 Anni and Heinrich Sussmann Award. In 2007, for example, he displayed photographs of the Howarra and Qalandiya checkpoint in plain sight of Israeli soldiers at the border. Other projects such as his Live and Work in Palestine passport stamps and his award-winning documentary film The Infiltrators (2012), subvert the dominant narrative of an equally fought, two-sided conflict by highlighting the limited mobility of ordinary Palestinians who struggle to have access to basic things such as healthcare, education, or travel documents.
In seeking to engage a wide audience through public performances and interventions, Jarrar has also presented his multilayered projects abroad. On the streets of Helsinki, Finland he built a temporary Hunger Wall in 2014, a barrier composed of loaves of bread that symbolises the thin line between prosperity and poverty, particularly under military occupation. With Dis-/Obey, he invited dozens of volunteers to participate in a military march that ultimately placed them in opposition to Jarrar’s voiced orders and an installation of camouflage uniforms. Commissioned by Checkpoint Helsinki as part of the Helsinki Festival, Dis-/Obey investigates military power, disobedience, and individual responsibility in conflict zones.
Jarrar’s Upcycle the Wall series, which has been shown internationally at such venues as the Aga Khan Museum, is perhaps his most well-known project to date and draws attention to the occupation of Palestine with sculptures made of reconstituted concrete from the apartheid wall that illegally annexes and cuts through parts of the West Bank. These works were highlighted in a critically acclaimed exhibition at Ayyam Gallery London in 2013 that included the installation of a massive concrete partition and related photographs.
Jarrar was highlighted by a number of international publications such as The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, and Creative Time Reports for his artistic intervention at the U.S-Mexico border. There, he removed and reappropriated a piece of the partition in order to create a ladder that now stands as a symbolic means of crossing for Mexicans who are separated from their American relatives.
Recently, Jarrar was awarded the 2017 General Grants program for Cinema by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture for his film Displaced in Heaven, a documentary that follows an exiled Palestinian family fleeing Syria.
Born in Jenin in 1976, Khaled Jarrar lives and works in Ramallah, Palestine. Jarrar completed his education in Interior Design at the Palestine Polytechnic University in 1996, and graduated from the International Academy of Art Palestine with a Bachelor in Visual Arts degree in 2011. The following year, his documentary The Infiltrators (2012) won several accolades at the 9th Annual Dubai International Film Festival, and confirmed his importance in global cinema.
Jarrar’s solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2016); Art Bartsch & Cie, Geneva (2015); Galerie Polaris, Paris (2014, 2012); Gallery One, Ramallah (2014); Ayyam Gallery London (2013); Galerie Guy Bartschi, Geneva (2013); and the NEWTOPIA: The State of Human Rights Contemporary Arts in Mechelen and Brussels (2012).
The artist’s recent collective exhibitions were held at venues such as Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017); Diverse Works, Houston (2017); The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM), Marseille (2017); Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New York (2017); 57th Venice Biennale, Venice (2017); Institut Du Monde Arabe, Paris (2017); La Triennale di Milano (2017); Brentwood Arts Exchange, Maryland (2017); Hinterland Gallery, Vienna (2016); Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (2016); Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2016); Palais De La Culture, Constantine (2015); Pirineos Sur Festival (2015); Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2015); New Museum, New York City (2014), Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, London (2014), University of Applied Arts, Vienna (2014), USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa (2013); The Madrid Palestine Film Festival, Madrid (2013); 15th Jakarta Biennale (2013); 7th Berlin Biennale (2012); 52nd October Salon, Belgrade (2011); Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem (2010); and London Film Festival (2010).