Kunstforeningen GL STRAND is proud to open its solo exhibition of Yazan Khalili on 3 Febru¬ary, when Khalili presents a number of new and recent works. One common feature is a poetic exposure of the structural systems with which our society is built up and on which the existence of modern human beings depends.
Yazan Khalili is the child of an insoluble conflict which appears to be reaching new heights at present with the current interference from the USA. He was born in 1981 in Palestine and lives today in Ramallah. The consequences of the political, social and economic restrictions to which Khalili and his fellow countrymen have been subject for many years are a constant source of inspi-ration for Khalili’s work. The symbolic rooting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the landscape around his home town Ramallah, the building culture of the area, the surveillance technology and other politicized factors form the backdrop for Khalili’s investigations. In seve¬ral of his works he develops the idea of ‘the negative space’ represented by what is not present, what is missing, or what has been removed.
The work Apartheid Monochromes is an example of this. At GL STRAND it is installed as a series of monochrome monumental photographs whose colour scheme is inspired by the ID cards that all Palestinians are forced to carry by the Israeli state. They indicate the identity and potential for mobility of the Palestinians within Palestine. When Khalili uses the very same colour system in his work, the random relations of the colours to the people they are meant to represent emerge clearly.
In his art Yazan Khalili invites the viewer’s general critical gaze at the world through the visual and poetically registrative language of photography. His works turn the focus on how people and landscapes can be transformed into objects as a result of alienating interventions, and how geopolitical decisions can cause unintentional violence in a society. According to Khalili the absurd life circumstances of the Palestinians are not specific to his culture. He sees them as an expression of a more general development in the world where, through new technology and geo¬political decisions, we subject the personal to an alienating process controlled by impersonal systems.