Hassan Khan

The Keys to the Kingdom

17 October, 2019 – 1 March, 2020 /
Retiro Park, Palacio de Cristal

Free ticket

Hassan Khan's (London, United Kingdom, 1975) broad and diverse artistic practice includes music, performance, moving and still image, sculpture, installation and text. His work engages with both familiar, shared conditions as well as elusive and undisclosed content to produce forms that excite the imagination, raise fundamental questions, channel undercurrents simmering under the surface, seduce and alienate, engage with expectations, pose mysteries as well as help re-articulate our experiences with the shifting structures of power.

For his exhibition at the Palacio de Cristal in Parque del Retiro Khan takes the tumultuous populism of the present and its intriguing method of tapping into the grotesque as a starting point. The Keys to the Kingdom is an exhibition of song, flags, glass sculptures, computer generated murals and other forms that lies on the spectrum between the romantic and the vulgar, the sublime and grotesque. The exhibition enters the imaginary landscape of a political economy underpinned by slavery, exploitation and dehumanization. 

Khan has received numerous awards across his career, most notably the Silver Lion Award at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) for his work Composition for a Public Park (2013/2017), described by the artist as “a multichannel music and text composition laid out in three movements and designed specifically for public parks”. He has also participated in documenta 13 (Kassel, 2012), the Montreal Biennale (2016), the Sharjah Biennale (2015), The New Museum Triennal (2012) the Gwangju Biennale (2008), the Biennale of Sydney (2006) and the Istanbul Biennial (2003), amongst others.

Khan's solo exhibitions include at the Beirut Art Center (Beirut, 2016), the Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt, 2015), Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (Cairo, 2014), SALT (Istanbul, 2012), Queens Museum (New York, 2011), Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp, 2011) Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (Sankt Gallen, 2010), Uqbar (Berlin, 2008) Le Plateau / Festival d’Automne (Paris, 2007), Gasworks (London, 2006); as well as numerous collective shows including Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, 2018) Ouvert la Nuit, Villa Medici( Rome, 2017), But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise, the Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2016), Moving Images, M+ (Hong Kong, 2015); Unrest of Form - Imagining the Political Subject, Secession (Vienna, 2013), El mal de escritura. Un proyecto sobre texto e imaginación especulativa, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Barcelona, 2009–2010); The backroom, Kadist Art Foundation (Paris, 2007); Moltitudini—Solitudini, Museo d’arte moderna e contemporanea di Bolzano (Siena, 2003); and Haunted by Detail, De Appel Foundation (Amsterdam, 2002-2003). His most recent publication An Anthology of Published and Unpublished Writings is co-published by Stäedelschule and Koenig Books and his album - SUPERSTRUCTURE EP was released earlier this year by The Vinyl Factory.

Hassan Khan lives and works in Cairo, Egypt.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Reina Sofía

Free ticket

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