Palestinian Artist Khaled Jarrar was all set to travel to New York for two recent art openings featuring his work—The New Museum’s “Here and Elsewhere,” and a solo show at the Whitebox Art Center. The artist may be best known for his work at the Berlin Biennale, where he offered “State of Palestine” passport stamps.
But there was a problem. As curator Myriam Vanneschi writes in Hyperallergic, Israel wouldn’t allow Jarrar, who lives in the West Bank, to travel to New York:
Israeli soldiers kept him waiting for hours on end before transporting him, together with a group of others who were denied exit, to a spot further away from the Jordanian border crossing. When they were released, they had no other option but to travel back to Ramallah. It was two o’clock in the morning at that point and he had missed his flight. He had tried to reason with them to no avail. “There is no reasoning,” he said to me. “This is retribution on their part, it is revenge and you can’t reason with that.”
In a letter to Vanneschi included in the curator’s post, Jarrar explains how he was the target of racism and humiliation by Israeli border police.
But that didn’t stop Jarrar and Vanneschi from moving forward. “No Exit,” described as new work “that deals with his status as well as the current situation in Gaza,” opened Thursday evening in New York City. The show, hosted by Whitebox and Undercurrent Projects, runs through August 7.