Project Author: Yazan Khalili
Yazan Khalili, is an artist who lives and works in and out of Palestine. Following an architecture degree from Birzeit University (2003) and a Masters degree from Goldsmith's College, University of London (2010), he is currently pursuing an MFA at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam. Using photography and text, Khalili unpacks historically constructed landscapes and parallel narratives to explore intimate politics. He focuses on the effect of geographical distance on our rendering of territory, and its ability to heighten or arrest our political and sentimental attachments. Khalili has had solo shows in Mechelen, London, Paris, Belgium and across Palestine, and has participated in group shows in Berlin, Germany; Ramallah, Palestine; Amman Jordan; Rome, Italy; Granada, Spain; Dubai, UAE; and London, England. Khalil was featured in Future of a Promise Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennial (2011) and Re-emerge, Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013).He was nominated for the KLM Paul Huf Award (2009, 2010, and 2012), the Bellagio award (2013); and the A. M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artists Award (2006). Khalili had co-curated several film and lecture programs, including at the 2009 Arab Shorts Festival presented by the Goethe Institute in Cairo; the 2013 HomeWorks 6 symposium in Beirut; and 2014 program at OCA, Oslo. One of the founding members of Zan Design Studio (2005), and Beit Aneeseh Bar (2010), Khalili was an artist-in-residence at The Delfina Foundation in London (2008) and The Danish Film School (2006).
In 2003, while i was at Birziet University in Palestine, the news came that the NASA space shuttle Columbia exploded and they found some of its parts in Palestine! of course, being stressed of work, i didn't know which was the bigger news, that the shuttle exploded or that its parts have landed in Palestine... that we in Palestine finally entered the history of space discovery... but of course the bigger surprise was that the Palestine where the shuttle parts fell wasn't the Palestine that we all know (or don't know), but rather another Palestine that i didn't know about, Palestine that exists very very far away, Palestine/Texas. Later in the years I began discovering another Palestines scattered around the new world, in the US, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guatemala.. but in the USA alone there are 10 Palestines. this trip is an investigation about these towns that have the name of a place that has been subjected to one of the most systematic acts of forgetfulness, what does a name of an ancient place suggest to the new world? what is ancient and what is new? and how is this name being preserved in the contemporary American politics. this project is in its very early stages, and all these thought can change during the development process...