Khalil Rabah

PSE – ISR (1961). Lives and works in Ramallah, Palestine


Another Geography, 2009–12
Maps (3), 2009. 60 x 80 cm c/u / each
50 postcards, 15 x 20 cm c/u / each

Khalil Rabah is a conceptual artist that works with a variety of media. His methods can be seen as a form of artistic science centered on questioning history and memory, particularly in the context of his native Palestine. Another Geography was developed for the 3rd Riwaq Biennial in 2009 which he directed. His idea was to organize a decentralized biennial. Instead of hosting all the exhibitions and activities in one city— such as is done in Venice, Sydney, Sao Paulo, and now Cartagena—the program was spread across fifty Palestinian villages. Each held certain architectural and historical meaning and the interventions highlighted the importance of their preservation. The visitors to the biennial travelled from one village to another, seeing works directly related to the heritage of each place.

Another Geography visualizes the disconnected locales through piles of postcards that portray each of the villages that hosted the event, as though souvenirs of each site. The stacks are organized in the gallery space according to the geography of the occupied territories, marking cultural and artistic sites in Palestine. The work contextualizes the concept of an artistic forum within a fragmented landscape, injecting these villages into part of a global discussion.