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With highly symbolic photographs, videos, and performative interventions focused on his native Palestine, multidisciplinary artist Khaled Jarrar explores modern power struggles and their sociocultural impact on ordinary citizens. The everyday objects appearing in Jarrar’s reflective work, whether by their shape or nature, are juxtaposed with the severity of the issues he examines, thus giving the political content of his art greater significance while underscoring the autobiographical nature of his chosen themes.
Over the past decade, Jarrar’s bold projects have earned him international recognition. In 2007, the artist displayed photographs of the Howarra & Qalandia checkpoint in plain sight of Israeli soldiers surveilling the border. Since 2011, his Live and Work in Palestine project has consisted of designing and distributing seemingly official Palestinian passport stamps to tourists arriving in the country. In his series titled Upcycle the Wall, the artist presented sculptures made of reconstituted concrete, which he chipped off the apartheid wall that cuts through and illegally annexes parts of the West Bank, evoking the ominous presence of the repressive barrier in every aspect of daily life. His most recent performance projects were presented on the streets of Helsinki, Finland in 2014. The temporary Hunger Wall Jarrar assembled out of bread loaves symbolised the thin line between prosperity and poverty. With Dis-/Obey, he involved dozens of volunteers in a military march, which ultimately placed them in contrast to Jarrar’s voiced orders in front of an installation of camouflage uniforms. Commissioned by Checkpoint Helsinki as part of the Helsinki Festival, Dis-/Obey investigated military power, disobedience, and individual responsibility in conflict zones.
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 later graduated from the International Academy of Art Palestine with a Bachelor in Visual Arts degree in 2011. A year later, his documentary The Infiltrators won several accolades at the 9th Annual Dubai International Film Festival, confirming his importance as a filmmaker in the international scene.
Jarrar’s recent solo exhibitions include Art Bartsch & Cie, Geneva (2015); Galerie Polaris, Paris (2014, 2012); Gallery One, Ramallah (2014); Ayyam Gallery London (2013); Galerie Guy Bartschi, Geneva (2013); the NEWTOPIA: The State of Human Rights Contemporary Arts in Mechelen and Brussels (2012); and the International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah (2007). The artist’s recent group exhibitions were held at such venues as Pirineos Sur Festival (2015); Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2015); the New Museum, New York City (2014), Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, London (2014), the University of Applied Arts, Vienna (2014), USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa (2013); The Madrid Palestine Film Festival (2013); the 15th Jakarta Biennale (2013); the 7th Berlin Biennale (2012); 52nd October Salon, Belgrade (2011); Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem (2010); and the London Film Festival (2010).