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Yours, KOW

Cooking with Mama, 2021

performance for steirischer Herbst, Graz

Hiwa K’s project is a fresh and timely iteration of an ongoing work that premiered in 2006, prophetic for today’s (post-)pandemic reality. While studying art in Mainz for four years, Hiwa K invited friends to cook with him, while his mother back in Iraq gave instructions over videophone.

Since 2006, video conferencing has become a mainstay of global communication especially important to those displaced by the turmoil of the last decade or so. But it was only with the pandemic’s lockdowns that video calls to loved ones became ubiquitous, a way of sharing everyday moments and overcoming drastic distances.At the same time, home cooking became an obsession by necessity and, possibly, the zone for a new form of politics.

For the new, post-pandemic edition of the performance, Hiwa K has developed a special street kitchen bike inspired by food stalls found in Iraq and Syria. He invites migrants living in Graz to call close friends and relatives and to cook their favorite dishes with a live audience, hopefully sparking conversations about food and its hidden political dimension, about traditions, family, and the experience of being far away from home. The events will also be broadcast via video link and recipe lists will be published in advance, allowing online guests to join.

Hiwa K, Cooking with mama, 2021, foodtruck
Hiwa K, Cooking with Mama 2021, performance with Rowena Wogrolly, DIE BRÜCKE – soziokulturelles Zentrum, photo: Clara Wildberger
Hiwa K, Cooking with Mama 2021, performance with Zeynep Aygan Romaner, DIE BRÜCKE – soziokulturelles Zentrum, photo: Mathias Völzke
Hiwa K, Cooking with Mama 2021, Performance with Pramodchandra (Pamir) Harvey, Afro-Asiatisches Institut Graz, photo: Clara Wildberger
Hiwa K, Cooking with Mama 2021, performance with Xiaoao Dong, Afro-Asiatisches Institut Graz, photo: Clara Wildberger
Hiwa K, Cooking with Mama 2021, performance with Darinka Arreano De List, Verein JUKUS im Jugendzentrum ECHO, photo: Johanna Lamprecht
Hiwa K, Cooking with Mama 2021, performance with Natalia Medebach, Fensterplatz – Initiative für Arbeitssuchende Graz, photo: Clara Wildberger
Hiwa K, Cooking with Mama 2021, performance with Omar Khir Alanam, Fensterplatz – Initiative für Arbeitssuchende Graz, photo: Clara Wildberger

performances with:
Rowena Wogrolly, DIE BRÜCKE – soziokulturelles Zentrum
Zeynep Aygan Romaner, DIE BRÜCKE – soziokulturelles Zentrum
Pramodchandra (Pamir) Harvey, Afro-Asiatisches Institut Graz
Xiaoao Dong, Afro-Asiatisches Institut Graz
Darinka Arreano De List, Verein JUKUS im Jugendzentrum ECHO
Natalia Medebach, Fensterplatz – Initiative für Arbeitssuchende Graz
Omar Khir Alanam, Fensterplatz – Initiative für Arbeitssuchende Graz
Fotos: Clara Wildberge, Mathias Völzke and Johanna Lamprecht
Text: steirischer Herbst 2021

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Hiwa K

Hiwa K was born in Kurdistan-Northern Iraq in 1975. His informal studies in his home town Sulaymaniyah were focused on European literature and philosophy, learnt from available books translated into Arabic. After moving to Europe in 2002, Hiwa K studied music as a pupil of the Flamenco master Paco Peña in Rotterdam, and subsequently settled in Germany. His works escape normative aesthetics but give a possibility of another vibration to vernacular forms, oral histories (Chicago boys, 2010), modes of encounter (Cooking with Mama, 2006) and political situations (This lemon tastes of apple, 2011). The repository of his references consists of stories told by family members and friends, found situations as well as everyday forms that are the products of pragmatics and necessity. He continthuously critiques the art education system and the professionalization of art practice, as well as the myth of the individual artist. Many of his works have a strong collective and participatory dimension, and express the concept of obtaining knowledge from everyday experience rather than doctrine. Hiwa K participated in various group shows such as Manifesta 7, Trient (2008), La Triennale, Intense Proximity, Paris (2012), the “Edgware Road Project” at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2012), the Venice Biennale (2015) and documenta14, Kassel/Athens (2017). A selection of recent solo shows include the New Museum, NYC (2018), S.M.A.K., Ghent (2018), Kunstverein Hannover (2018), Jameel Arts Center Dubai (2020) and Museum Abteiberg (2021). He has recieved several prizes such as in 2016 the Arnold Bode Prize and the Schering Stiftung Art Award and the latest being the Hector Prize in 2019.



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