Ayyam Gallery Dubai (12, Alserkal Avenue) presents “Castles Built from Sand will Fall”, the solo exhibition of multidisciplinary artist Khaled Jarrar.
Over the last ten years, Jarrar has frequently addressed the subject of borders, particularly the elaborate system of checkpoints, fences, and walls that have split communities in his native Palestine. The title of the exhibition refers to the impermanent nature of politically imposed boundaries, which can always be redrawn or demolished.
“Castles Built from Sand will Fall” provides a condensed overview of Jarrar’s focus on this issue with a range of work in different media. Featuring installation, photography, video, sculpture, and art objects, the exhibition offers a look into the various strands of his creative practice. This curated selection also emphasises Jarrar’s use of diverse forms as artistic interventions that encourage viewers to rethink the intersections of life, politics, and visual culture.
The exhibition is organised as an immersive experience with new installations and objects alongside the artist’s older works such as Journey 110 (2008), a video that documents a hidden 110-metre passageway beneath the massive wall that snakes through the West Bank. Jarrar fimed Journey 110 while travelling with Palestinians who pass through a sewage-filled tunnel in order to reach the other half of Beit Hanina, a village divided in two by the Israeli-built barrier. In the darkened footage, the light of an opening on the other side guides people down the murky path. An elderly woman struggles to wade through the mud with the help of travel companions while a baby is passed to a waiting set of hands. Jarrar films the scene as though giving a first-person account rather than capturing it at a distance as a documentarian, providing an unconventional view of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The artist’s re-creation of this sense of immediacy is reiterated in an installation that cuts through the gallery space in the form of a concrete wall. When seeking to view the exhibition in its entirety, gallery visitors must nd a hole that the artist has carved out in order to access remaining works. Throughout the exhibition, objects, images, and videos show the tragic absurdity of the occupation, describing a surreal yet devastating reality.
On 14 November at 7.30 pm, The Yard at Alserkal Avenue will screen Khaled Jarrar’s film, Infiltrators (2012), which portrays the struggle of Palestinians in the face of Israeli checkpoints.