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  • 2018/20 Archive

    Basma Alsharif

    Jasmina Metwaly

    Maurice Louca

    nasa4nasa

    Shadi Habib Allah

    Yazan Khalili

    The first edition of the Consortium Commissions took place between 2018 and 2020, and included eight international partners who commissioned new projects by the six artists, musicians, and performers presented on this page which were produced and presented in twelve exhibitions, three performances, and two concerts.

    The curators at our partner institutions were:

    Agnès Quackels at Kunstcentrum BUDA
    Aram Moshayedi at The Hammer Museum
    Danjel Andersson at MDT
    Kurt Overbergh at Ancienne Belgique
    Richard Birkett at ICA
    Ainslie Roddick at Centre for Contemporary Arts
    November Paynter at The Museum of Contemporary Art
    Tirdad Zolghadr at KW Institute for Contemporary Art

    Other artists shortlisted were:

    Doa Aly
    Fayçal Baghriche
    Joe Namy
    Lynn Kodeih
    Mahmoud Khaled
    Noor Abu Arafeh
    Shuruq Harb

    The Consortium Commissions was covered by international press, with reviews and interviews including:

    Basma Alsharif in ArtAsiaPacificArtforumFrieze, and The Skinny
    Jasmina Metwaly in Daily Bruin
    Maurice Louca in BRUZZ
    nasa4nasa in Mada Masr
    Shadi Habib Allah in Art in AmericaFriezeMousseThe National, and The Skinny
    Mophradat’s director Mai Abu ElDahab interviewed in The National

    Basma Alsharif

    Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto
    February 14 to April 14, 2019

    Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow
    November 1 to December 15, 2018

    A Philistine is centered around a handmade book that exists in English, Arabic, and French. A sixty-page novella incorporating history, science-fiction, and eroticism, it is accompanied by six stand-alone drawings and three photographs, two chairs with a coffee table, carpeting, and warm lighting. The viewer becomes a part of the work by sitting down to read the book. 

    The book tells the story of a character, the Philistine, taking the train from Lebanon to Egypt via Palestine after learning of her estranged father’s death; she is setting out to retrieve his belongings along the route. Beginning in the present and ending in 30 BC, the narrative rewrites the historical Haifa-Beirut-Tripoli Railway and Palestine Railways, suggesting what such a journey would be like today given that both lines were discontinued with the creation of the state in 1948. 

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    Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Photo by Tom Arban Photography Inc.
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    Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Photo by Tom Arban Photography Inc.
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    Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Photo by Tom Arban Photography Inc.
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    Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Photo by Tom Arban Photography Inc.
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    Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Photo by Tom Arban Photography Inc.
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    Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Photo by Tom Arban Photography Inc.
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    Exhibition view at Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. Photo by Tom Arban Photography Inc.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.

    Basma Alsharif is an artist and filmmaker, born in 1983 in Kuwait of Palestinian origin, raised between France, the US, and the Gaza Strip. She has a BFA and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Basma developed her practice nomadically, living and working in Chicago, Cairo, Beirut, Sharjah, Amman, the Gaza Strip, and Paris. Major exhibitions include: the Whitney Biennial, les Rencontres d’Arles, les Modules at the Palais de Tokyo, Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum, Al Riwaq Biennial Palestine, the Berlin Documentary Forum, the Sharjah Biennial, and Manifesta 8. She is a shortlisted artist of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2018, received a jury prize at the Sharjah Biennial 9, and was awarded the Marcelino Botin Visual Arts grant.

    Jasmina Metwaly

    The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles
    September 28, 2019 to January 1, 2020

    KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin
    March 14 to April 19, 2020

    Anbar, a three-channel video installation with accompanying textile components, centers on the cultural signification of military uniforms in the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Here Metwaly considers the uniform as an emblem of the paranoia and anxiety that descended on Egypt in the years following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. The videos employ various formal devices that intimate different approaches to filmmaking while showing the ways in which ideology and power are embedded into the folds of everyday life.

    The videos are accompanied by a suite of three uniforms that Metwaly produced in collaboration with the Polish costume designer Marta Szypulska. The garments play up the decorative use of military insignia and camouflage in contemporary fashion in order to further underscore how laws regulating uniforms are a proxy for safety and fear, standardization and national identity. Taken together, the works speculate on how uniforms confer power and serve as disguises for the ordinary civilians who enter the ranks of the military.

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    Exhibition view at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Jeff McLane.
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    Exhibition view at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Jeff McLane.
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    Exhibition view at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Jeff McLane.
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    Exhibition view at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Jeff McLane.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at Hammer KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.

    Born in 1982 to an Egyptian father and a Polish mother, Jasmina Metwaly is a Cairo-based artist and filmmaker, and a member of the Mosireen collective. She received an MA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and a Postgraduate Diploma at the Byam Shaw School of Art at Central Saint Martins, London. Metwalyʼs work has been exhibited at international art venues and festivals including S A V V Y Contemporary in Berlin, Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut, Townhouse gallery in Cairo, Cairo Documenta, IFFR, and Berlinale Forum Expanded. Since 2010 she has also collaborated on projects with filmmaker Philip Rizk. In 2015 their feature-length film Out on the Street was presented in the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale and at MoMA during the exhibition: Films from Here: Recent Views from the Arab World. In 2017, she was an artist-in-residency at DAAD in Berlin.

    Maurice Louca

    ICA in London
    August 27, 2019

    Ancienne Belgique in Brussels
    August 29, 2019

    Maurice Louca’s new composition is sparked by his long-standing desire to explore working with bespoke musical instruments adapted to play Arabic maqam. Taking up the chance when a commission for a new project came up, Louca found himself in Indonesia tuning a gamelan to play this traditional Arabic scale, and sitting with a Turkish luthier to customize a guitar’s fret board.

    To bring his composition to life, Louca brings together “A” Trio, one of the Arab world’s oldest improv bands, with their very singular way of playing prepared classical Western instruments, as well as a cellist and a harpist, all while experimenting on the new instruments, together becoming this unpredictable and extremely ambitious new arrangement.

    Maurice Louca + Guests (A Trio/Anthea Caddy/Khaled Yassine/Christine Kazaryan). Anthea Caddy: cello, Maurice Louca: gamelan/percussions, Kristine Kazarian: harp, Mazen Kerbaj: prepared trumpet/electronics, Sharif Sehnaoui: prepared guitar, Raed Yassin: prepared double-bass, and Khaled Yassine: gamelan/percussions.

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    Maurice Louca + Guests during rehearsals in residency at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique.
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    Maurice Louca + Guests during rehearsals in residency at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique.
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    Maurice Louca + Guests during rehearsals in residency at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique.
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    Maurice Louca + Guests during rehearsals in residency at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique.
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    Maurice Louca + Guests during rehearsals in residency at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique.
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    Maurice Louca + Guests during rehearsals in residency at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique.
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    Maurice Louca + Guests during rehearsals in residency at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. Courtesy of Ancienne Belgique.
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    Concert at ICA in London. Courtesy of Mophradat.
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    Concert at ICA in London. Courtesy of Mophradat.
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    Concert during Feeërieën festival, organised by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Park. Photo by Francis Vanhee.
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    Concert during Feeërieën festival, organised by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Park. Photo by Francis Vanhee.
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    Concert during Feeërieën festival, organised by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Park. Photo by Francis Vanhee.
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    Concert during Feeërieën festival, organised by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Park. Photo by Francis Vanhee.
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    Concert during Feeërieën festival, organised by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Park. Photo by Francis Vanhee.
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    Concert during Feeërieën festival, organised by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Park. Photo by Francis Vanhee.
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    Concert during Feeërieën festival, organised by Ancienne Belgique in Brussels Park. Photo by Francis Vanhee.

    Maurice Louca is an Egyptian musician and composer born in 1982 in Cairo, where he lives and works. His debut solo album Garraya was released in 2011 on the 100COPIES label, and his 2014 release Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot) on Nawa Recordings. Maurice is a co-founder of the bands Bikya, Alif, The Dwarfs of East Agouza, and Lekhfa. He was guest curator of Beirut & Beyond 2017, and has composed for numerous projects of theater, film, and contemporary visual art. He frequently tours Europe and the Arab world – recent gigs include Cairo Jazz Club, Shubbak Festival in London, Dancity Festival in Foligno, Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, Sweden Inkonst, CTM Festival in Berlin, WORM Rotterdam, OCCII in Amsterdam, Recyclart in Brussels, Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg, Südpol in Lucerne, Bee Flat in Bern, Cave 12 in Geneva, Instants Chavires in Paris, Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, Kunstencentrum BELGIE in Hasselt, Vera in Groningen, and Baustelle in Leipzig.

    nasa4nasa

    Kunstcentrum BUDA in Kortrijk
    November 22 and 23, 2018

    MDT in Stockholm
    November 28 and 29, 2018

    Maadi Sports Club in Cairo
    April 16 and 17, 2019

    For SUASH, nasa4nasa compiled a number of movements that are shuffled, reconfigured, and repeated to adhere to pre-established patterns, in collaboration with musician Asem Tag. Influenced by the squash court, they begin to think of choreography as a way of organizing time and space in order to eventually experience an exhausted and unstructured dance. This exhaustion of structure transforms the space into an atmospheric landscape that romanticizes the red grid they occupy, bringing a female quality to the foreground. Asking: How can you slow down time in a space that demands otherwise? How do you create a rhythmic occupation? How can you dissolve (into) a space? The failure of the imposed grid creates an unobtrusive ending.

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    Performance during NEXT Festival at BUDA in Kunstencentrum BUDA in Kortrjk. Photo by Luc Depreitere.
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    Performance during NEXT Festival at BUDA in Kunstencentrum BUDA in Kortrjk. Photo by Luc Depreitere.
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    Performance during NEXT Festival at BUDA in Kunstencentrum BUDA in Kortrjk. Photo by Luc Depreitere.
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    Performance at MDT in Stockholm. Photo by MDT.
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    Performance at MDT in Stockholm. Photo by MDT.
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    Performance at Maadi Sports Club in Cairo.
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    Performance at Maadi Sports Club in Cairo.
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    Performance at Maadi Sports Club in Cairo.
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    Performance at Maadi Sports Club in Cairo.

    nasa4nasa is a dance collective based in Cairo, co-founded by dancers Noura Seif Hassanein and Salma Abdel Salam in 2016. Salma, born in 1989, holds a BA from the American University in Cairo, completed the three-year professional program at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC), and received her MA from NYU Tisch. In 2016, Salma received the DanceWeb scholarship. Salma teaches performance and dance theory at CCDC as well as various movement and dance courses across Cairo. She is a certified IBBFA barre instructor and is studying to become a Feldenkrais practitioner. Salma has performed with choreographers such as Benoit LaChambre, Tino Sehgal, Yoshiko Chuma, Karima Mansour, Mirette Michail, Mohamed Shafik, Adham Hafez and ExNihilo, and has been published by Ibraaz and ICI Paris. Noura, born in 1985, is a dancer and visual artist. She received a BA from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan University and completed the three-year program at CCDC. She has exhibited at the Cairo Youth Salon, Grand Palais Paris, Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, Tache in Cairo, Photocairo 5, and Gypsum Gallery in Cairo. She has received scholarships from the Henri Jurriens Foundation and DANCEWEB. Noura has performed with choreographers and artists such as Mohamed Shafik, Ex Nihlo, Karima Mansour, Mirette Mechail, Marten Spanberg, Hend el Balouty, Shaymaa Shoukry and recently, with Doa Aly at Art Dubai and the Sharjah Biennale.

    Shadi Habib Allah

    The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles
    September 22, 2018 to January 20, 2019

    Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow
    April 20 to June 20, 2019

    Shadi Habib Allah’s new work Free Rain began with an immersive engagement with corner stores in Liberty City, Miami, in order to examine government welfare policies and their impact on a largely disenfranchised and marginalized population. Serving as hubs for local communities and centers for non-monetary forms of exchange, the stores maintain an interdependent relationship with their clientele by selling groceries on credit or exchanging food stamps for cash. These exchanges embody the impoverishment, scarcity, and financial inequity that form the basis of the project. Prompted specifically by the distribution policies of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the personal relationships between storeowners and customers, the project consists of a series of images and sculptures that approximate the quotidian nature and social reality of areas such as Liberty City, marked by racial and economic disparity.

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    Exhibition view at at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Joshua White.
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    Exhibition view at at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Joshua White.
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    Exhibition view at at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Joshua White.
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    شادي حبيب الله، صورة للمعرض، متحف هامر في لوس أنجلوس. تصوير جوشوا وايت.
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    Exhibition view at at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Joshua White.
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    Exhibition view at at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Photo by Joshua White.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.
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    Exhibition view at Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Photo by Alan Dimmick.

    Born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1977, Shadi Habib Allah received a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and an MFA from Columbia University. He was twice awarded second prize at the A.M. Qattan Foundation Young Artist of the Year Award, was the 2012 recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and has attended residencies at Cittadelarte, Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, and Gasworks and Delfina in London. He has exhibited at Palestine c/o Venice at the Venice Biennale, Art Statements at Art Basel, the Sharjah Biennial, and the New Museum Triennial. Exhibitions include Biscuits and Green Sox Maaike at Reena Spaulings, New York, Empire State at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Frozen Lakes at Artists Space, New York, and Nouvelles Vagues at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His films have screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hamburg Film Festival, Courtisane Festival Belgium, and the Norwegian Film Festival. He lives and works in New York.

    Yazan Khalili

    KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin
    March 14 to April 19, 2020

    Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto
    Spring 2020

    Yazan Khalili’s Medusa is a video installation based on the artist’s long-standing engagement with digital archiving in times of political unrest. Yazan addresses the rise of facial recognition technologies. The human face as basic mode of identification triggers well-known dystopic tropes and scenarios. However, technology is created by humans and their respective weaknesses; and thinking technology needs to be informed by human imagination in its overtly emancipatory capacity.

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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.
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    Exhibition view at KW in Berlin. Photo by Frank Sperling.

    Yazan Khalili, born in 1981, lives and works in and out of Palestine. He received a BA from Birzeit University, an MA from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, and an MFA from the Sandberg Institute. He was co-founder of Zan Design Studio and the winner of Extract V Young Art Prize 2015. Solo shows include On the Other Side of the Law at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, On Love and Other Landscapes at Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, and Imane Fares Gallery, Paris, The Aliens at Transit Gallery, Mechelen, and Regarding Distance at E.O.A.Projects, London. Group shows include Post-Peace, Württ. Kunstverein Stuttgart, Al Riwaq Biennial Palestine, the Jerusalem Show, Searching for a Present at Espoo Museum of Modern Art, the Shanghai Biennale, The Plough and Other Stars at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, A Million Lines: XII Baltic Triennial, La Mer au Milieu des Terres//Mare Medi Terraneum at Es Baluard, the Berlinale, and Sharjah Biennial. He teaches at Al-Quds Bard University, and is chairman and acting director of the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre.