Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar has been stamping people’s passports with the unsanctioned seal for the “State of Palestine” in his ongoing project Live And Work In Palestine for a several years. Like other Palestinians, going in and out of Palestine is a bureaucratic, humiliating and strenuous ordeal, but he has never been explicitly blocked from leaving his home until this week.

Jarrar will not be attending his upcoming group show Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum (opening July 16) or his solo show at Whitebox Art Center (opening July 24th). He can neither attend the openings, planned discussions and events, nor install his works. Jarrar was detained, forced to miss his flight and notified that he would be prevented from traveling until the 1st of August due to “security reasons.”

“The Israelis sent me back… No trip to NY,” Jarrar told curator Myriam Vanneschi, who described the situation to Hyperallergic:

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.’

To Live And Work In Palestine (Ongoing)

The only entry and exit point from Palestine is the Allenby Bridge over the Jordan River into Amman and the airport. Jarrar was in process of getting a United States visa, but to get it he would have to obtain a special permit to enter Jerusalem, the location of the US consulate. Much of Jarrar’s work centers around life, identity and survival in Palestine, and his voice is particularly crucial now with the unceasing tensions between Israel and Palestine and Israel relentless aerial attacks on Gaza.

Jarrar’s exhibit at the Whitebox Art Center has been renamed to “No Exit” where he will conduct a live Skype chat July 24th.

“No Exit,” Khaled Jarrar, Jul 24 – Aug 4, Whitebox Art Center, Manhattan. Opening reception at Whitebox Art Center Jul 24 5-7pm, after event and roundtable at Undercurrent Projects 7-9pm, ongoing special events at Undercurrent Projects Jul 25 – Aug 4. 

Gently I Press The Trigger (2014), film still