The Mophradat Commissions:
Introducing Yazan Khalili’s Medusa
18 September 19, 7 pm
Venue: KW Studio, front building, 1st floor
Yazan Khalili in conversation with Tirdad Zolghadr
A pioneering model for co-commissioning ambitious new work, The Mophradat Commissions exemplify Mophradat’s inventive approach to supporting artists throughout the Arab world. In Spring 2020, KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Mophradat will present the first edition of the new commissioning program with two solo exhibitions by Yazan Khalili and Jasmina Metwaly. The commissions program begins with a conversation between Ramallah-based artist Yazan Khalili (born in 1981, SY) and Tirdad Zolghadr, Associate Curator at KW.
The conversation with Khalili will address his artistic practice as well as his work as director of the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah. Khalili’s commissioned work Medusa (working title) is a video installation based on the artist’s long-standing engagement with digital archiving during times of unrest. The work engages with digital archives as media through which memory might be emancipated from overly institutionalized narratives. Khalili’s work most recently addresses the rise of facial recognition technologies. The human face is quickly becoming a basic mode of personal identification; raising a host of well-known dystopic tropes and scenarios. However, technology is not beyond human imagination, it is created by humans and their respective weaknesses; and thinking technology needs to be informed by human imagination in its overtly emancipatory capacity.
A second strand of conversation will address Khalili’s mandate as director of the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, a non-profit organization working with the Visual Arts, Palestinian identity and narrative, and public activities. The Center is dedicated to rethinking art and culture as economic fields—and of artists and other cultural practitioners as economic actors—thereby allowing for new questions regarding collective practices and political organization.