The new video “Khaled’s Ladder” documents the journey of multidisciplinary artist Khaled Jarrar along the U.S.-Mexico border and the making of his new work that takes the border wall as its raw material.

‘ I do it in the name of art, and I like how art gives us all this freedom and space to practice our creativity on the ground, not just on paper. This is how we can raise the questions and tell the stories that lead to solutions that will allow us to go beyond borders.’

On January 27, Khaled Jarrar set out on an uncommon journey: traveling in a 34-foot RV from San Diego, California, to Juarez, Mexico, crisscrossing and following the U.S.-Mexico border along the way. Jarrar was traveling as part of Culturunners, a project initiated by Edge of Arabia in partnership with Art Jameel, in which artists travel from place to place in order to explore contested boundaries. On the journey the group encountered border patrol agents on both sides of the border, met and worked with locals living near the border, and organized talks at galleries and public spaces. During his time on the road, Jarrar created and installed a new work, Khaled’s Ladder, using material pulled from the border fence. Coming from his home in the West Bank, where the Israeli separation wall shapes daily life and restricts freedom of movement, Khaled was alert to the ways in which the U.S.–Mexico border informs the experiences of those who live on either side of it. After completing the RV journey to Juarez, Khaled made the trip to New York and visited the Creative Time offices, where he talked to Creative Time Reports’ associate editor, Rachel Riederer, about his new work and his ongoing interest in dismantling walls and crossing borders.

You can find the full interview  here.

New York, 5th May 2016.

Darren Flook: The Tate have a slogan for the opening of their new building attached to Tate Modern: “Art Changes. We Change.” This made me think about how art has changed, or how your practice has changed. How are things different from when you started?

Ryan Gander: I think then I was so young that I had no idea what I was doing and it was quite logical to just be like, “Oh, I have an exhibition. I have to make an artwork.” And now, structurally, it doesn’t work like that. I don’t have to do anything logistical any more. I don’t even run the studio or the company. I’m a creative director. Now, I instigate situations that work will become a fall-out of. I’ve just designed this kitchen sink, which is a proper sink that works. It’s a company and a business. But I know that the fall-out of me researching Japanese sinks and using this sink will produce art.


The thing that strikes me about London is the impact of the expense of it on a lot of young artists and art galleries. It’s become so money-obsessed. The art scene has become very conservative due to the pressure to sell.
I’m creating this show at the moment with this group of kids in Leeds. And a part of me thinks, “They won’t get a shot at anything because they all live in Leeds.” A part of me feels like saying, “Come on, guys, you’ve got one chance. Move to London and, make a go of it,” But then I think, if they go to London, they’ll just turn into arseholes. They’ll be climbing over the backs of a million other people. There’ll be this contagion of aesthetics that exists in London where everything looks exactly the same.

I go to shows in London of young artists and they’re all going through this massive phase that’s so obvious. There’s no meaning to any of the work, it’s just purely retinal. It’s like the phenomenon of having pine or palm trees in shows; or the phenomenon of the colossal amount of artworks that contain water now.

Pieces with a cartoon sticker on it?
It’s insane. Bumper stickers on artworks! Just visual stuff. It’s something like gaga baby language.

But you don’t think that that’s always been the case? I mean, I remember having a conversation in the late 90s with someone. We joked, “What would be the perfect, most stereotypical artwork now?” And we worked out it would be a leather glove holding a fake diamond on a white fur rug.
That’s perfect. Might need a scorpion or a meteorite in there as well.

Now it would be a bumper sticker on a downloaded porn image with an iPad slapped on the front? Actually, I think I bought that work.
But, you see, it’s difficult for me to not be annoyed and embittered by all that, because the premise of what I do is that’s it not merely retinal. It’s nothing to do with the way it looks.

And anything that ends up being an artwork is just a by-product of an idea that makes it happen. And I don’t really have that much control over what comes out physically, over what it looks like.

So when you’re thinking about a show, you don’t think about what it’s going to look like?


Really? Is that true?
I start with a theme or a perspective. It’s quite calculated and strategic. I usually build the show and then take things out. And make things invisible. And then make works incomplete or make them more complicated, to entertain my mind. It’s like making something very logical and then trying to make it into a puzzle.


Alex Turner said something like, “People from the North model themselves on things that they hate, not the things they like.” And what he meant by that, I think, is by knowing what you don’t like, you’re definitely not that. But it leaves everything else open for things you could be. But if there’s something that you like and you emulate that, you just become their carbon clone.

You need your own motivation that goes beyond any idea of success or career.
There is a massive fickleness in the art world so it has to be interesting for yourself or it’s not going to be interesting to other people. Considering artists are meant to be very, very creative and inventive, because their occupation, most artists are in fact massive conformists. When you go and see an artist’s show, I always think a really great value or currency is to defy expectation. I reckon 99% of shows that I see are exactly what I expect as I go into the show. I think that’s weird. And then I also think it’s very weird that, well, art can be anything, right?

You can make whatever you want.
Anything you want. It could be like a uniform for a McDonald’s drive-through. Or it could be a donation to a sperm bank. Or it could be a box full of sound, or anything. And still, 95% of art goes on the wall?! And that artists don’t even question that I find pretty weird. I value and judge people on how creative they are and not how good their work is. Often some of my favourite artists are the artists who make bad work as well.

I think you have to make bad work every now and again though.
Oh, absolutely. I don’t trust genius pieces whatsoever. I just think the whole point of making art is to learn, to evolve and to develop language and as a person. You only do that by making bad work you throw out. Or people see it and you’re embarrassed by it. And that’s good practice.

It’s like with studios. Do artists need studios? What is a studio? A studio’s just another conformity that’s been handed down through history. It’s a place to work. Well, does it have to be a studio? Living in the city. You don’t really need to live in the city.


To me, good artists are where the boundaries between practice and life don’t exist. You’re in their house. And, as you say, you suddenly realise a chair they’re sat on is something they’ve made…
And they serve you some food and you’ve never had anything like it before and they’ve invented it. But they also, you find out, hand-made the dish to serve it on because it complements the food that they’re serving. That act of being interested in the world around them, not just interested in the art world around them.

The artists I’ve worked with, the ones who fascinate me, are the ones that are like a stick of rock – you can break them anyway and it’s still the same thing going through the middle. How do I improve this, or alter it, or disrupt it? Someone like Carol Bove: she couldn’t find a school for her kids so opened one. Her art and her life are one.
I was just going to mention the Carol Bove example. My ideology of that reminds me of the Good Life. They’re not self-sufficient, but creatively self-sufficient. So instead of chickens you’re talking about how to make money on real things.

I like the Good Life idea. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
I was going say something about the economy of giving back as well. I think it’s important to give back and that doesn’t happen enough. If artists are in significantly privileged positions because of the work that they make, then they should. I want to see more artists having, I don’t know, like scholarships in their name. Or opening art schools. Or publishing young artists’ books, because that’s all totally doable by me and my contemporaries. It’s easy. It just doesn’t happen enough and that’s a bit rubbish.

See the full interview here


‘A controversial piece of Denver student art, depicting a police officer in a Ku Klux Klan hood pointing a gun at a black child whose hands are raised, has hastened a meeting between the city officials, the artist and her mother.

The art piece, part of Denver Public Schools outreach, was displayed in a city building and caused “concerns from the community,” according to a media release late Tuesday from Mayor Michael Hancock’s office.

“Students were asked to select a master work of art, research it and re-contextualize it,” according to the release.

The student in question chose Goya’s The Third of May 1808 and A Tale of Two Hoodies, created by Michael D’Antuono in 2014, as inspiration.

” After learning of the negative impact of her work, the student has asked that it be taken down,” the mayor’s office said.

On Wednesday the student, and her mother, will meet with Mayor Michael Hancock, Chief of Police Robert White and Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova at her school, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy.

“I’m greatly concerned about how this painting portrays the police,” Denver Chief of Police Robert White said in the release. ” I look forward to having a conversation with the student and her parents.”

So two questions, quoting from the text above:

Anyone wondered why the art piece caused “concerns from the community” ?

And what was the “negative impact”? Why was it negative?

Because it made sound?  It provoke ? It disturbed?  It shared some truths ?

And was the decision clearly made by the student or was she forced to ask for  her artwork to be removed?

The student clearly depicted, not just out of her imagination, how the police uses their power against black people and other ‘minorities’ and quite cleverly cited on KKK, as it seems that these actions and maltreatments can be evidently related to that movement and its beliefs.

That’s what art is for… To say things that otherwise are either forbidden to say or no one has the courage to shout or the authorities are too strong and cover these voices  (at any cost).



this is ART.

Posted: March 20, 2016 in Videos & Images

Another example of pure art that is not trying to be deep or extremely sophisticated but rather shouts out a clear message.

Yes I am talking about these guys dressed and coloured in blue, yellow, red, white and black.

Anyone to debate whether this ↓ is art or not?IMG_4410

‘No entry’ ???

Posted: March 20, 2016 in Videos & Images

Yesterday, I was yet in another march, another public demonstration, in Trafalgar square. A march standing to refugees but not only… standing to all the people that have suffered from wars, from injustice, from racism and fascism and are still suffering.

People that have died from policemen, people who didn’t speak because they thought they didn’t have the power or the right to do so.

People that fight to remain human…

to find a home…

to live.

There, I saw this sign and I laughed for a few seconds… A ‘NO ENTRY’ sign amongst many ‘Refugees are Welcome’.  I found it quite comicotragical (something that makes you laugh and cry at the same time).


A sign that was placed there by the government… by the mayor of London, by the Greater London Authority as it states. By those in ‘power’, those who make the rules (?) The laws (?)

Then I thought that here’s the problem. Not in that specific sign of course… But in the way we react.

Even if thousands or millions of us are holding signs, shouting, demonstrating, marching, voting, THEY will still be the ones that pass the laws, that close the borders, the ones that decide based on their profits (and the capitalist system that nurtures them) and not on humans lives or children’s dreams…

Maybe we should gradually, powerfully and forcefully take off all these ‘signs’ and create the society we want to be living in…


we should find a way…


to change.


No one leaves Home…

Posted: March 20, 2016 in Videos & Images

Home‘ written by Warsan Shire :

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i don’t know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.







MOVE IT 2016

Posted: March 19, 2016 in News, Our Actions

Yesterday we had the opportunity to teach a class full of energy to more than 70 young and older people as part of  MOVE IT 2016 at ExCeL London.

Thank you for everyone that joined and had fun clapping, moving, sliding, rolling and jumping !!!

Thank you to Bridget Lappin for her valuable help at handling the mic! 

See you soon!