Regarding Distance was the first major solo exhibition in the United Kingdom by acclaimed Palestinian artist Yazan Khalili. The show featured works produced over the last decade, which explore the scarred and fraught landscapes of the West Bank, where the artist grew up.
Yazan's output was detailed, reflective and full of intent. Predominantly using photography and the written word, he unpacked historically constructed landscapes. Borrowing from cinematic language, images became frames where the spectator embodied the progression of time. The artist has woven together parallel stories over the years, suggesting both questions and paradoxes concerning scenery and the act of gazing, all of which are refracted through the prism of personal identity. In particular, he focuse on the effect of geographical distance on our rendering of territory, and its ability to heighten or arrest our political and sentimental attachments.
The exhibition featured video work, photography and drawings, including some of Yazan's best-known projects; Regarding Distance, The Aliens, On Love and Other Landscapes and The Slaughterhouse. These works were accompanied by lucid and engaging texts reflecting upon and mediating this visual output. They include accounts of journeys through ‘Area C’, in the occupied West Bank, unplanned stops in car dumps and attempts to reach the sea; others are broader interactions with the notion of landscape in a Palestinian context and a refusal to depict the Israeli-built wall. They form a critical strand in the work of this pioneering Palestinian artist.
"The real trauma of losing the homeland in 1948 was to be disconnected from the vital space, the landscape, the way of living, the potential of maintaining freedom of choice and becoming, as Slavoj Žižek says, always in a state of emergency, where the possibility of thinking and living in the present becomes impossible."
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