Project Author: Khaled Jarrar

KHALED JARRAR is a Palestinian artist, born in Jenin, and still living and working from Palestine. His work explores modern power struggles and their sociocultural impact on ordinary citizens. He completed his studies in interior design at the Palestine Polytechnic University in 1996, and began working in photography. He garnered significant attention for his exhibition in 2004 at the Howarra and Qalandya checkpoints where his photos were displayed to attract the attention of Israeli soldiers. He began working in the mediums of film and video. His first short video "Journey 110" was critically acclaimed and selected at several international festivals and art galleries, including Basel Art 41, Instant Video, and the London Film Festival.

In 2011 he graduated from the International Academy of Art (Palestine). His recent work "Live and Work in Palestine" was the first unofficial Palestinian stamp. Khaled used it to stamp passports of people from all nationalities who volunteered. 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, giving the political content of his art greater significance while underscoring the autobiographical nature of his themes.

No Man's Land

No Man's Land is a project that explores the politics of border control and human mobility between North America and the Middle East. Against the backdrop of the US Presidential Election, and increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from Donald Trump and the Republican Party, Palestinian artist, Khaled Jarrar, traveled to the US for the first time this February to explore the US / Mexican border from San Diego / Tijuana to El Paso / Juarez.

Along the way Jarrar explored common concerns and human stories along the border.“In creating this monument, I want to connect communities and explore comparisons and common concerns between this wall and the wall I live with every day in my home city of Ramallah, Palestine.”

Khaled's first journey culminated with the installation of an artwork made from stolen pieces of the US / Mexico border wall, in Juarez, Mexico. “This work is a monument to the global issue of migration and the struggle of marginalized and displaced people to rise above the physical and psychological barriers that surround them,” says Jarrar.

Although Jarrar has not giventhe monument a name, local people are calling it, “Khaled’s Ladder.”

To date, No Man's Land has included community talks and pop-up events in San Diego, CA, at the San Diego Art Institute & Low Art Gallery; in Tijuana, MX at the La Caja Galeria (below); in Las Cruces, NM, at New Mexico State University, and in El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico, where Jarrar finished installing the Monument last week.

In 2015 Jarrar was famously barred from entering the United States to attend a landmark exhibition featuring his work at the New Museum, in New York. Jarrar was stopped by Israeli Security Forces and prevented from leaving his native Palestine to attend the event. Unable to leave Palestine he managed to join a panel discussion at the Museum via Skype and promised to make the trip to the US in the future.

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