Yazan Khalili

"The Colour Correction Series explores the idea of losing lifestyle, mobility, freedom of choice and even the ability to dream of a brighter tomorrow. According to Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, these losses lead to a permanent state of emergency, where the possibility of thinking and living in the present becomes impossible.

This specific image shows Al-Amari Refugee Camp, located inside/beside/outside Ramallah City. The form of the camp does not represent its economic status, but rather its loss and trauma as a political manifestation that persists due to the continuous emergence of ephemeral homes, contradictory ways of living and unbearably unstable relationships between Palestinians and their surrounding landscape. Altering the refugee camp’s colours is a symbolic act. It aims to fill the loss – in the way a child fills the blanks in colouring books – and thus reignite the possibility of hope. Here Yazan Khalili attempts to appropriate an urban landscape that reminds us of the tragedy – of their existence and our disappearance – in order to subvert memory into a desired future."

1981 born in Syria and lives in and out of Palestine.

Yazan Khalili received a degree in Architecture from Birzeit University, Birzeit, Palestine in 2003, graduating in 2010 with a Master’s degree from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. Khalili completed residencies at the Delfina Foundation, London, UK, in 2008 and the National Film School of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark in 2006. Khalili is currently pursuing an MFA degree at Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

Yazan's photography is detailed, reflective and full of intent. He uses photography and the written word to unravel historically constructed landscapes. Borrowing from cinematic language, the images he captures become frames where the spectator embodies the progression of time and narratives. Yazan intermingles parallel stories, raising questions and forming paradoxes concerning scenery and the act of gazing, all of which are influenced by intimate politics and alienating poetics. Yazan's work explores the effect of geographical distance on our interpretation of territory, and its ability to amplify or arrest our political and sentimental attachments.

Yazan has taken part in a number of solo exhibitions including: No One Saw the Colors, Kungstofren'ngen GL Strand, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2018; On the Other Side of the Law, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE, 2017;  Blindness of Love, Present Future, Artissima, with Lawrie Shabibi, Turin, Italy, 2015; On Love and Other Landscapes, Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, India, 2015; The Aliens, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium, 2015; Regarding Distance, Edge Of Arabia Projects, London, UK, 2014; On Love and other Landscapes, Imane Fares Gallery, Paris, France, 2013; Landscape of Darkness, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, Belgium, 2011; Margins, The Delfina Foundation, London, UK, 2008; and Urban Impression, French Cultural Center, Gaza, Palestine, 2007.

His work is in several prominent collections including the Videoinsight Foundation, Turin, Italy; the British Museum, London, UK; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE and the Imperial War Museum, London, UK.

In 2015 Yazan received the EXTRACT Young Art Prize, Kunstforeningen GL Strand, Copenhagen, Denmark as well as grants from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and the Young Arab Theatre Fund. In 2006 Khalili received the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artists Award and was nominated for the KLM Paul Huf Award in 2009, 2010 and 2012, as well as the Bellagio Award in 2013.

In 2017, Yazan authored Scouting for Locations published by Sharjah Art Foundation as  an extension of Yazan Khalili's installation commissioned for Sharjah Biennial 11.


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