Khalil Rabah


Art Exhibition: Ready Made Representations: 1954-2010


Khalil Rabah is a Palestinian conceptual artist who works in a wide variety of media. His method can be seen as a form of artistic science that focuses on questioning history and memory, specifically in the context of his native Palestine.

Khalil Rabah’s artistic practice can be seen as a form of nationalist critique. This critique often takes the form of creating imagined national institutions in his art, such as The Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind or The United States of Palestine Airlines. The Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind is a long-running project that publishes a newsletter with the museum’s news and projects. The museum includes departments of paleontology, geology, botany, anthropology, and art. His work aims to replace the nationalist discourse with hybrid, hyphenated, and transnational identities, which interrogate the official version of history.

Art Exhibition: Ready Made Representations: 1954-2010 presents a collection of oil paintings based on photographs that span exhibitions of Palestinian art that took place in different locations around the world from 1954 to the present. These photographs were collected by the artist over many years from newspapers, online, in gallery archives, or were photographed by the artist himself. Rabah has translated this research into photorealist paintings, thereby creating a series of work that explores the art scene and its components: the artists, the visitors, the curators, the collectors, the exhibition venues and institutions, and the art exhibition in itself. The work seeks to create a subjective historical re-mapping of exhibition-making practices.



b. 1961, Jerusalem, Israel

 Lives and works in Ramallah, Palestine. He studied fine arts and architecture at the University of Texas, Arlington, USA. He is the co-founder of Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem and of the Art School Palestine in London, and also the director of the Riwaq Biennial, Palestine. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, including: E-Flux, New York (solo, 2012-2013) • Review, Beirut Art Center (solo, 2012) • Art Exhibition – Ready Made Representations: 1954-2010, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg (solo, 2012) • A Plot for a Biennial, Sharjah Biennial (2011) • 53rd Venice Biennial (2009) • Liverpool Biennial (2008) • United States of Palestine Airlines, The London Office, Artist Studio, London (solo, 2007) • Memorial to the Iraq War, ICA London (2007) • 50.320 Names, Brunei Gallery, London (solo, 2007) • 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005) • The Third Annual Wall Zone Sale, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah (solo, 2004).