Police Investigate After Khaled Jarrar Shoots Handgun as Performance

Khaled Jarrar, Pistol 9mm (2009) Photo: via Art Bärtschi & Cie
Khaled Jarrar, Pistol 9mm (2009)
Photo: via Art Bärtschi & Cie
The aftermath of the performance, posted to the gallery's Facebook page with the caption, "Khaled gave an impressive performance last night...come and discover the result tonight at the Nuit des Bains!" <br>Photo: via Art Bärtschi & Cie on Facebook </br>

The aftermath of the performance, posted to the gallery’s Facebook page with the caption: “Khaled gave an impressive performance last night…come and discover the result tonight at the Nuit des Bains!”
Photo via: Art Bärtschi & Cie on Facebook

“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.

Professionals installing a DIY shooting range for Jarrar's performance. <br>Photo: via Art Bärtschi & Cie on Facebook</br>

Professionals installing a DIY shooting range for Jarrar’s performance.
Photo: via Art Bärtschi & Cie on Facebook

<i>The Batallion 2013</i>, part of Jarrar's 2013 exhibition at Galerie Bärtschi<br>Photo: via Art Bärtschi & Cie</br>

The Batallion (2013), part of “The Battalion” exhibition at Galerie Bärtschi
Photo: Courtesy Art Bärtschi & Cie

Khaled Jarrar, <i>Pistol 9mm</i> (2009) <br>Photo: via Art Bärtschi & Cie</br>

Khaled Jarrar, Pistol 9mm (2009)
Photo: Courtesy Art Bärtschi & Cie


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