Yazan Khalili b. 1981


Yazan Khalili is a visual artist, and cultural activist. His works and writings have been exhibited and published in different exhibitions and publications. Khalili's photography is detailed, reflective and full of intent. Using photography and the written word, Khalili unpacks historically constructed landscapes. Borrowing from cinematic language, images become frames where the spectator embodies the progression of time and narratives. He weaves together parallel stories over the years, forming both questions and paradoxes concerning scenery and the act of gazing, all of which are refracted through the prism of intimate politics and alienating poetics. In particular, he focuses on the effect of geographical distance on our rendering of territory, and its ability to heighten or arrest our political and sentimental attachments.


Khalili was born in 1981, and 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 in 2008 and the National Film School of Denmark, Copenhagen and has an MFA from Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam.

Yazan Khalili's solo exhibitions include Medusa, MOCA, Toronto, 2020; Medusa, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2020; No One Saw the Colors, Kungstofren'ngen GL Strand, Copenhagen,  2018; On the Other Side of the Law, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2017;  Blindness of Love, Present Future, Artissima, Turin; On Love and Other Landscapes, Mumbai Art Room, 2015; The Aliens, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, 2015; Regarding Distance, Edge Of Arabia Projects, London, 2014; On Love and other Landscapes, Imane Fares Gallery, Paris, 2013; Landscape of Darkness, Transit Gallery, Mechelen,  2011; Margins, The Delfina Foundation, London, 2008; and Urban Impression, French Cultural Center, Gaza, Palestine, 2007.


Select group exhibitions include Documenta Fifteen with A Question Of Funding, Kassel, Germany, 2022; Veza 02, SP–Arte, presented by SOUTH SOUTH Art and Lawrie Shabibi, São Paulo, Brazil, 2022; Under Construction Part II, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2021; Being: New Photography 2018, MoMA, New York; Jerusalem Lives (Tahya Al Quds), Palestinian Museum, Birzeit, 2017; Why Not Ask Again? Maneuvers, Disputations & Stories, 11th Shanghai Biennale, 2016; The Plough and Other Stars, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2016; After the Last Sky, Berlin, 2016; EXTRACT V, Kunstforeningen GL Strand, Copenhagen, 2015; A Million Lines, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Krakow, 2015; First Biennial of Photography by Contemporary Arab Artists, Institut du Monde Arabe & Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, 2015; The Island, Absolut Art Bar, Art Dubai, 2015;  Scouting for Locations: Traces of a Scream, Re-emerge, Sharjah Biennial 11; HomeWorks 6, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, 2013; Right to Refusal, Bregenz, 2012; Berlinale 62, Berlin, 2012; and Future of a Promise Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale.


In 2017 Khalili was commissioned to produce Falling Stone/Flying Stone for the inaugural exhibition for the Museum of Palestine.  Khalili is the recipient of the Mophradat Consortium Commission, EXTRACT Young Art Prize, 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. 


Khalili’s work is in several prominent collections including the Lewben Art Foundation, Vilnius; Videoinsight Foundation, Turin; the British Museum, London; Sharjah Art Foundation; Imperial War Museum, London and Dar El-Nimer Collection, Beirut.