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Yours, KOW

0° Blind Spot, Where Beloved is…, 2017 – 2018


Years ago, I came to Europe by foot, walking, among others, through Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy to find a refuge in Germany. This long and often dangerous trip was an experience of space and time, through which I destined myself for the unknown through the partiality of spatial and cultural experience. I built an object-sculpture out of prefabricated elements: a stick and motorbike mirrors. It is given a function of an adaptation tool for lost in the city.

By balancing it on my nose I find my way by looking into different mirrors. The use of a device makes possible adding to or including things into the fragmented perception of the surrounding city. In this case, the transmuting of historical meanings of city by walking through this is made possible. It is also an extension of my organs and senses. Here, I am dealing with the very balance as the activity signing the will to comply with the given condition. The mirror is not meant however mainly to reflect but to navigate. It is a form of survival kit, as I never arrive at the full picture of the place through which I am strolling but functionality of it helps me to complete my journey.

Hiwa K, 0° Blind Spot, Where Beloved is…, 2017 – 2018, mixed media, 225 x 120 x 50 cm

Mixed media, 225 x 120 x 50 cm

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), Museum Abteiberg (2021) and The Power Plant (Toronto (2022). 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.

Full Biography