Born in 1970, in Palestine. Lives and works in Palestine.
Through a documentary aesthetics, Ahlam Shibli's photographic work addresses the contradictory implications of the notion of home. It deals with the loss of home and the fight against that loss, but also with restrictions and limitations that the idea of home imposes on individuals and communities marked by repressive identity politics.
Shibli's work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at international institutions. It includes the following series: Staring (2016–17), a nine episodes photographed in al-Khalil/Hebron, Palestine, and Kassel and its surroundings, Germany, examined what is similar and what is different in situations apparently so far apart; Heimat (2016–17) refered to expellees and refugees of German descent and to guest workers from the Mediterranean region, both migrated to Kassel and the surrounding area as a result of the Second World War;
the foundation of the work Occupation (2016–17) was the destruction of Palestinian livelihood in al-Khalil/Hebron and the occupied territories by the Israeli colonial regime and Zionist settlers;
Ramallah Archive (2014) pointed to ways of reorganizing collective and individual existence that can be encountered in the files and negatives at the Ramallah Municipality Archive and the contemporary city;
Death (2011–2012) showed the efforts of Palestinian society to preserve the presence of those who lost their lives fighting against the Israeli colonial occupation; the starting point of
Trauma (2008–09) was the monuments that commemorate members of the French resistance against the Nazis together with French fighters in the colonial wars against peoples who demanded their own independence;
Dom Dziecka. The house starves when you are away (2008) showed how children in Polish orphanages reconfigure their bodies to create particular communities of their own; Dependence (2007) explored the distribution of bodily strength between the old and the young; in Eastern LGBT (2004 / 2006) the bodies of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders from Oriental societies appeared as a contested primary home.
* accompanying publications
- Ahlam Shibli: Staring. Remai Modern museum, Saskatoon. Curated by Gregory Burke, and Sandra Guimarães. Web commission.
- Ahlam Shibli: Phantom Home. Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Jeu de Paume, Paris, and Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto. Curated by Carles Guerra, Marta Gili, João Fernandes, and Isabel Braga. Retrospective.*
- Ahlam Shibli: Trauma. Château de Sédières, Clergoux, Corrèze. With the support of Peuple et Culture Corrèze. Featuring Goter, Trauma.*
- Ahlam Shibli: Why did you leave the forest empty! Darat al Funun—The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman. Curated by Suha Shoman. Featuring Goter, The Valley, Arab al-Sbaih.*
- Ahlam Shibli: Wydomowienie. Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Warsaw. Curated by Ana Janevski. Featuring Dom Dziecka. The house starves when you are away, An Introduction to and Nine Chapters from Dependence, Trackers.
- Ahlam Shibli: Trackers, The Valley. Espace photographique Contretype, Brussels. In the context of Masarat 2008.
- Ahlam Shibli: Goter, Trackers. Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee. Curated by Katrina Brown.
- Ahlam Shibli: Trackers. Kunsthalle Basel, Basel. Curated by Adam Szymczyk.*
- Ahlam Shibli: Lost Time. Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. Curated by Jonathan Watkins. Featuring Self Portrait, Unrecognised, Goter.*
- In the Still of the Night. FOTOHOF galerie, Salzburg. Curated by Peter Schreiner and Nadine Weixler. Featuring Occupation.
- Vigilance, Struggle, Pride: Through Her Eyes. UGM—Umetnostna galerija Maribor / Maribor Art Gallery, Maribor; Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin; Muzej suvremene umjetnosti / Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb. Curated by Marina Paulenka. Featuring Death.*
- Field Guide. Remai Modern museum, Saskatoon. Curated by Gregory Burke and Sandra Guimarães. Featuring Occupation.*
- The Photographic I—Other Pictures. S.M.A.K.—Museum of Contemporary Art, Gent. Curated by Martin Germann, Tanja Boon, and Steven Humblet.
Featuring Ramallah Archive.*
- In Rebellion. Female Narratives In The Arab World. Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia. Curated by Juan Vicente Aliaga. Featuring Eastern LGBT.
- Estrictamente personal: graphic work and artists books. Juan Naranjo Galería de Arte, Barcelona. Orgnized by Ediciones Originales and Juan Naranjo Galería de Arte, curated by Antonio Zúñiga. Featuring Dependence book.
- documenta 14: Lerning from Athens. Neue Neue Galerie (Neue Hauptpost), Kassel. Curated by Adam Szymczyk. Featuring Heimat.*
- documenta 14: Lerning from Athens. The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) / Το Εθνικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης (ΕΜΣΤ), Athens. Curated by Adam Szymczyk. Featuring Occupation.*
- 10 YEARS OLD. Foro Boario—Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Modena. Curated by Filippo Maggia and Chiara Dall'Olio. Featuring Trackers.
- The Winter of Our Discontent. Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna. Curated by EJacopo Crivelli Visconti. Featuring Arab al-Sbaih.
- Alive in the Dead Sea (1995–2015). Darat al Funun—The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman. Curated by Eline van der Vlist and Suha Shoman. Featuring Death.
- Strange Worlds. Foro Boario—Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Modena. Curated by Filippo Maggia. Featuring Trackers.
- la terre nous est etroite, regards croisés sur la palestine. Le 19 CRAC Montbéliard—Centre régional d'art contemporain, Montbéliards. Curater Philippe Cyroulnik. Featuring Ramallah Archive.
- Formes biographiques. Carré d'Art—Musée d'art contemporain de Nîmes, Nîmes. Curated by Jean-François Chevrier. Featuring Refuge in Frost.*
- Uncovering History. Camera Austria, Graz. In cooperation with the Universalmuseum Joanneum. Curated by Reinhard Braun. Featuring The Valley.*
- Progress and Hygiene. Zachęta—National Gallery of Art, Warsaw. Curated by Anda Rottenberg. Featuring Death.*
- Outside the Archive. Series of Ramallah Municipality exhibitions in Qalandiya International II: Archives, Lived and Shared. Featuring Ramallah Archive. Society of Ramallah Federation Palestine, Ramallah.*
- The Ever Changing Body, Deel III. Museumcultuur Strombeek Gent, Cultuurcentrum Strombeek Grimbergen, Strombeek-Bever. Curated by Luk Lambrecht. Featuring An introduction to and nine chapters from "Dependence", Self Portrait.
- Vi lever på en stjerne / We are Living on a Star. Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden. Curated by Tone Hansen and Marit Paasche. Featuring Dom Dziecka. The house starves when you are away.*
- Atlas of Modernity. The 20th and 21st Century Art Collection. Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz. Curated by Jarosław Suchan, Aleksandra Jach, Paulina Kurc-Maj, Maria Morzuch, Anna Saciuk-Gąsowska, Joanna Sokołowska, Katarzyna Słoboda, and Magdalena Ziółkowska. Featuring Goter.*
- Biographical Forms. Construction and Individual Mythologies. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Curated by Jean-François Chevrier. Featuring Death, Trauma.*
- Three True Stories. Foro Boario—Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Modena. Curated by Filippo Maggia, Claudia Fini and Francesca Lazzarini. Featuring Death.*
- In the Heart of the Country. Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Featuring Dom Dziecka. The house starves when you are away.
- HIWAR | Conversations in Amman. Darat al Funun—The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman. Curated by Adriano Pedrosa. Featuring Arab al-Sbaih.
- Image Counter Image. Haus der Kunst, Munich. Curated by Patrizia Dander, León Krempel, Julienne Lorz, and Ulrich Wilmes. Featuring Trackers.*
- Time, Place, and the Camera: Photographs at Work. 12th Gjon Mili International Photography Prize Exhibition, National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtinë. Curated by Christine Frisinghelli. Featuring Arab al-Sbaih, The Valley.
- A Rock and a Hard Place. Old Intersection-Make it New. The 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki. Curated by Paolo Colombo, Mahita El Bacha Urieta, and Marina Fokidis. Featuring Trauma.*
- Courage. Contemporary Art from the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Centro Saint-Bénin, Aosta. Curated by Ilaria Bonacossa. Featuring Trackers.
- Framed / Unframed.Birzeit University Museum, Ramallah. Curated by Vera Tamari and Inass Yassin. Featuring Unrecognised.
- Out of Place. Tate Modern, London, and Darat al Funun—The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman. Curated by Ala’Younis and Kasia Redzisz. Featuring Goter, The Valley.
- Breaking News. Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Modena. Curated by Filippo Maggia. Featuring Trackers.*
- Early Years. KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. Curated by Sebastian Cichocki, Ana Janevski, Katarzyna Karwanska, and Joanna Mytkowska. Featuring Dom Dziecka. The house starves when you are away.
- Negotiations: The Second Today’s Documents 2010. Today Art Museum, Beijing. Curated by Huang Du and JonathanWatkins. Featuring Eastern LGBT.*
- To the Arts, Citizens! Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto. Curated by Óscar Faria and João Fernandes. Featuring Trauma, Nine Days in Wahat al-Salam.*
- Connected Barcelona, Transnational Citizens: Migratory Growth and Urban Practices. History Museum of Barcelona, Barcelona. Curated by Joan Roca. Featuring An Introduction to and Nine Chapters from "Dependence".
- En todas partes. Políticas de la diversidad sexual en el arte / Everywhere: Sexual Diversity Policies in Art. Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo (CGAC), Santiago de Compostela. Curated by Juan Vicente Aliaga. Featuring Eastern LGBT.
- Les Inquiets: Cinq artistes sous la pression de la guerre. Centre Pompidou, Paris. Curated by Joanna Mytkowska. Featuring The Valley, Positioning.*
- Éclats de frontiers. FRAC Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Marseille. Featuring Trackers, Goter.
- Universal Archive: The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia. Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona. Curated by Jorge Ribalta. Featuring Dependence.*
- Zones of Conflict. Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York. Curated by T.J. Demos. Featuring Arab al-Sbaih, Goter.*
- Cómo vivir juntos. Selección 27ª Bienal de São Paulo, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo and Facultad de Artes, Universidad de Chile, Santiago. Curated by Lisette Lagnado. Featuring Eastern LGBT, Market.*
- documenta 12. Kassel. Curated by Roger M. Buergel and Ruth Noack. Featuring Arab al-Sbaih, Goter.*
- Opening Hours. Rebecca M. Camhi Gallery, Athens. Curated by Pier Luigi Tazzi. Featuring Horse Race in Jericho.*
- A Tale of Two Cities: Busan–Seoul / Seoul–Busan. Busan Biennale 2006, Busan. Curated by Manu Park. Featuring Trackers.*
- How to Live Together. 27ª Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo. Curated by Lisette Lagnado, co-curated by Cristina Freire, Rosa Martínez, Adriano Pedrosa, and José Roca. Featuring Eastern LGBT, Market.*
- The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society. 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville, Seville.Curated by Okwui Enwezor. Featuring Catastrophe: Mt. Tabor, Berlin, Halisa.*
- Home Ground. Ivan Dougherty Gallery, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Curated by Felicity Fenner. Featuring Unrecognised.*
- 9th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul. Curated by Vasif Kortun and Charles Esche. Featuring Unrecognised.*
- The Pantagruel Syndrome. T1 Torino Triennale Tremusei, Turin. Curated by Francesco Bonami. Featuring Trackers.*
- Non-Sect Radical: Contemporary Photography III. Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama. Curated by Taro Amano. Featuring Goter, Self Portrait.*
- Ostati ili Oticci / Bleiben oder Gehen / Staying or Leaving. Hrvatski Fotosavez, UmjetnickomPaviljon, Zagreb, and Camera Austria, Graz. Curated by Christine Frisinghelli and Sandra Križic Roban. Featuring Goter.*
- Unscene. Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London. Curated by Kelly O’Reilly. Featuring Goter.
- Ahlam Shibli: Dependence. edited by Ulrich Loock, texts by Ahlam Shibli, Ediciones Originales, Barcelona, 2013. [english, arabic, spanish]
- Ahlam Shibli: Phantom Home. exhibition catalogue, texts by T.J. Demos and Esmail Nashif, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Jeu de Paume, Paris, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto and Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2013. [english, french, portuguese, (online spanish and catalan)]
- Ahlam Shibli: Go there, Eat the mountain, Write the past. exhibition catalogue, texts by Mahmoud Abu Hashhash, Ulrich Loock, and Sarah A. Rogers, Darat al Funun—The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman 2011. [english, arabic]
- Ahlam Shibli: Trauma. exhibition catalogue, texts by Ulrich Loock, Adania Shibli, and Manée Teyssandier, Peuple et Culture Corrèze, Tulle 2010. [english, french]
- Ahlam Shibli: Trackers. exhibition catalogue, edited by Adam Szymczyk, texts by John Berger, Jean-François Chevrier, Okwui Enwezor, Rhoda Kanaaneh, and Adam Szymczyk, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2007. [english]
- Ahlam Shibli: Lost Time. exhibition catalogue, edited by Jonathan Watkins, texts by John Berger, Kamal Boullata, and Ulrich Loock, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham 2003. [english]
- Ahlam Shibli: Goter. exhibition catalogue, edited and texts by Ulrich Loock, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation, Tel Aviv, 2003. [english, arabic, hebrew]