Police Investigate After Khaled Jarrar Shoots Handgun as Performance
“That thou canst not stir a flower without troubling a star,” Khaled Jarrar’s current show at Galerie Art Bärtschi & Cie in Geneva proclaims. And, given the stir caused by a performance accompanying the show, it’s apparent that thou canst not shoot 21 bullets into paint cans without troubling the police.
On May 27, Jarrar shot a handgun into cans of paint as a performance, after police denied an application for authorization of the event—originally intended to be public—in March. Sneaking around some legal language, the performance was held instead in a privately-owned space, invitation-only.
But that didn’t stop police from showing up the day after the performance, and summoning associate director Barth Pralong in for questioning, reports the Tribune de Genéve.
Police demands an explanation as to why the event took place without permission. Pralong, meanwhile, intends to stick to his story that the law, as the gallery understood it, allowed for the use of a firearm in the staged context.
Jarrar, who served in Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Presidential Guard, frequently uses militaristic tropes in his work, often controversially. Opposition, however, has generally been expressed in response to the Palestinian artist’s nationality and activism, and not because of mere technicalities like this.
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