Born in 1976 in Damascus Suburb, and currently based in Berlin, Khaled Barakeh graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus, Syria in 2005, completed his MFA at Funen Art Academy in Odense, Denmark in 2010 and finished his Meisterschueler at the Städelschule Art Academy in Frankfurt a.M, Germany in 2013. During his stay in Europe Barakeh, originally trained as a painter, has developed a stronger concentration on conceptual art practices. Today he works in a variety of media, focusing on the current and pertinent issues, often revolving around politics and power structures in context of identity, culture and history. He has exhibited at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart; Shanghai Biennale; Salt Istanbul; Kunsthalle Brandts, Overgaden Denmark; Frankfurter Kunstverein; Artspace New Zealand and many other institutions and venues around the world.
Recently Barakeh started a new initiative called Syria Cultural Index, dedicated to mapping and connecting the Syrian artistic community around the globe and showcasing their work to wider audience.
Born in Damascus Suburb, Syria 1976.
2017 ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE Summer Academy; University of Hildesheim, Germany.
2013 Meisterschueler; Städelschule Art Academy, Frankfurt a.M, Germany.
2010 Master Degree in Fine Arts (MFA); Funen Art Academy, Odense, Denmark.
2003 Diploma Degree in Fine Arts; Damascus University, Syria.
2003 DART AL FUNUN Summer Academy; supervisor: Prof. Marwan Kassab Bachi; Amman, Jordan
2017 - 2018 UdK, Berlin Career College, Artist Training. Berlin, Germany.
2014 'IN PLAIN SIGHT' Curated by Sarah Lookofsky. Smack Mellon. New York, USA.
2013 'SAY MY NAME SAY MY NAME’ Curated by Bernd Reiß. MMK Museum Für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt Am Main, Germany.
2013 ‘WELCOME’ Curated by Line Sandvad Mengers. LSM Project Space, Laven, Denmark.
2013 ‘SYRIA'S ART OF RESISTANCE’ Curated by Zaher Omreen. Rich Mix Gallery, London, UK; The Round Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2013 ‘LOCUS’ Curated by Didem Yazıcı. Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany.
2013 ‘HOME STORIES’ Curated by Nicola Muellerschoen. Villa 102, Frankfurt a.M, Germany.
2013 ‘FRAGILE STATES’ Curated by Sidd Joag. Brian Morris Gallery. New York, USA.
2012 ‘IMAGINED COMMUNITIES’ Curated by Miguel Amado. Golden Thread Gallery. Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2012 ‘THE CHANGING ROOM’ Curated by Aida Eltorie. The Underground Gallery. London, UK.
2011 ‘WE ARE NOWHERE AND IT IS NOW’ Curated by Patrick Keaveney & Didem Yazıcı. Occupy Space. Limerick, Ireland.
2010 ‘UNTITLED NO.5’ Curated by Lars Rahbek. Larm Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Collaborative Projects & Exhibitions:
2013 ‘MOBILE ACADEMY’ Curated by Simon Starling; Organized by Thuy-Han Nguyen Chi & Susanne Husse. Ha Noi, Hoi An, Sai Gon and Berlin.
2011 ‘WHEN IN ROME’ Curated and organized by Simon Starling and Mark Mangion. Malta Contemporary Art Foundation. Valletta, Malta. Movement gallery. London, UK.
2009 ‘BUILDING DEMOCRACY’ Curated by the collective. Overgaden. Copenhagen; and Rum46. Århus. Denmark.
The geographical shift in my life – moving from Syria to Europe – resulted in major changes in my approach towards my work; originally trained as a painter, I then developed a stronger concentration on conceptual art practices. Today I work in a variety of media, deliberately chosen for each project, focusing on the current and pertinent issues and often revolving around power structures in context of identity, culture and history. Drawing from my personal experiences – observations of both familiar and strange places, witnessing the repetitive and constantly unsolved social injustice through different points of view – I approach creative practices as a tool of social changes. I consider myself to be a part of global artivism movement, often focusing on topics of cultural preservation, aiming to see between the cracks of social and political systems, addressing them in indirect ways.
Through creative storytelling, I use negative spaces in modern world – through acts of joining and separation, decontextualizing and reconstructing the narratives, blurring the lines between real and fiction and highlighting presence by absence – that of words, objects, individuals, victims, bodies. My art practice can be categorized as cultural hacking – revolving around both personal and social narratives, it often transforms pre-existing materials, objects and data in order to change their contexts through repetitive acts of transformation. Through these actions, I aim to create new environments for the audience, challenging their expectations and pre-existing assumptions.