| Art Production in a Time of Crisis
How do cultural institutions and artists respond to long-standing states of crises and international emergencies? It is with these questions in mind that Palestinian artist Khalil Rabah’s artistic practice investigates the future of visual arts production. Exploring the relationships between historically sanctioned and experimental exhibition settings, fictional and documentary-narratives, and the histories of displacement, his methods not only propose but produce speculative institutions. As the artist’s first major monograph, Falling Forward / Works (1995–2025) presents a comprehensive selection of exhibition materials, previously unseen archival documents, and detailed background notes on how Rabah’s methods relate to broader themes in his work. The volume also introduces new critical writing from curators, authors, and researchers on the interrelated subjects of anticipatory aesthetics, subterfuge and fugitive acts, mimicry and performativity, knowledge production, archival technologies and, crucially, the politics of humor.
KHALIL RABAH (*1961, Jerusalem) studied fine arts and architecture at the University of Texas. The work of this conceptual artist is rooted in issues of identity, displacement and politics. Characteristic of Rabah’s working method is the adaptation of institutional means of representation. In 2003, he established the fictional Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind. Designed as an ongoing project, the museum finds new forms of presentation, depending on the exhibition situation and location. He lives and works in Ramallah.
Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa at Birmingham City University, UK. He is the series editor for Research/Practice and sits on the editorial boards of Third Text, Digital War, and Memory, Mind & Media.