Tightrope Walking

No Exit

The Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrer is denied exit from his hometown Rammallah over Jordan to New York to attend a group exhibition where he is supposed to present an installation and be part of a panel discussion. The exhibition opening is today on Wednesday 17th in The New Museum in New York City. The exhibition Here and Elsewhere features arts from and about the Arab world by introducing “urgent questions and new aesthetics to US audiences.”


Khaled Jarrer: “ZE ZEVEL” – That means, “he is garbage.” When I was trying to cross Allenby Bridge as usual, I heard one soldier say this to his superior officer, while they were arguing about me in Hebrew. That was the only word that I could understand from their discussion. Allenby Bridge is my only gate to the world. Amman is the only place from where I can fly to the world. Yesterday I was denied exit from the West Bank. I was surprised, because never before did the Israelis prevent me from traveling. Everything was checked, but after a very long wait and without understanding what was happening, I was informed “security reasons” would prevent me from traveling until the 1st of August. For now that means that I missed my morning flight from Amman to New York, that I will miss the opening of the show at the New Museum, and that I will miss the artist talk with Lamia Joreige and Charif Kiwan that is supposed to happen on the 16th of July.


A stamp of the non-existing state of Palestine designed by Khaled Jarrar

Jarrar became famous for his work as part of the 7th Biennale 2012 in Berlin. His contribution was a project of passport stamps for the non-existing state of Palestine. In a short video he explains his motivation behind that initiative and delves deeper into that in an interview to the Rolling Stone Magazin: “Why should Israelis be the only ones to decide who gets to enter Palestine? I wanted to welcome people, as a Palestinian, to Palestine”.
In his part of Here and Elsewhere, he picks up this very serious matter of Israel´s voyage policy in the 70-minutes-long film Infiltrators (2012).





Infiltrators “the trailer”, A film by Khaled Jarrar at New Museum New Yrok: The checkpoint is closed. “Detour, detour!” shouts a taxi driver and announces the beginning of the journey. The film unravels adventures of various attempts by individuals and groups during their search for gaps in the Wall in order to permeate and sneak past it.

Here and Elsewhere is on view July 16 to Sept. 28 at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York

In addition to the opening today, Khaled Jarrar also has to be absent at his very own show opening in the Whitebox Art Center on 24th of June. To give Jarrars case the appropriate emphasis, the exhibition was renamed to No Exit.


Leave a Reply