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Yazan Khalili

I’m a visual artist, architect, and a cultural practitioner who lives and works in and out of Palestine. My practice frames landscapes, institutions, and social and technological phenomena as politicized entities. My background in architecture allows me to look at landscape in a critical manner, deconstructing colonial visual discourse around Palestinian landscape. In my practice in engage with the settler colonial question, whether in Palestine or elsewhere.

I worked extensively on surveillance related technologies such as facial recognition and its links with indigenous masks and European recognition of who is human during European colonization. I’m interested in structures, institutional as well as other, and how those structures are built, and how they perform. This aspect can be traced both in my work as the lead figure of Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, in Ramallah where I have been leading the institution, critiquing funding processes and the way cultural institutions work in the neoliberal era proposing the total work of the cultural institution, in which one can rethink culture as a political tool.

In my recent installation on the roof of the Palestinian Museum where I installed a large stone emphasizing the ‘weight’ of art and the institutional responsibility that comes with it. In my work, I use multiple forms, however in my videos, photography and artist books my textual narratives play a large part. I’m aware of the fluctuating economy of the image and the visual archive in our time, at many times alluding to it, and so ensures to add a scrupulous narrative over it. The tone of the narrative is never abstract, but mostly poetic, as if refusing to engage in a ‘factual’ tone, entrusting the language of fiction to the oppressed.

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