Uncheck the box to avoid the aggregation and analysis of your behaviour data collected on this website. Done
Looking for something specific?
Just start typing anywhere to search anything.

Yours, KOW

Diagonal, 2009

C-Print Photograph

GermanEnglish

In Diagonal, the work by Hiwa K, the artist is depicted inside of a fallen watchtower, his body strained as if in an attempt to push it even further. The sun is high and there is a shadow cast by the derelict fragment of architecture. What emerges is the tension between the luminous sky and the contrasting brutality of the concrete walls and surrounding barbed wire. The human figure is vital and energetic, positioned in the way that recalls the classical representation of the masculine body, like in the Discobolus. There is no plinth, no pedestal that holds the hero though. And there is no hero. The dysfunctional architecture of control provides little support for standing still as if the process of falling is still going on. The title of the work has abstract qualities. It does not contain a historic resemblance although it is clear to us that the location chosen by him is neither accidental nor lacking this reference. Not really a documentation of performance and not portraiture either, the photo brings numerous references without the actual circumstances being known.


We are looking at Amna Suraka – the Red Security Building - built in the early 1980s by Saddam Hussain in Sulaimany – a Kurdish city in Northern Iraq – as a political prison for those who opposed the authority of the Ba’ath Party. The building was taken over by the rebels in 1991 and severely damaged. Still it remains a dark symbol of the authoritarian regime in the very centre of the city. The artist has a lot of memories connected with the shifting history of the site, which used to be just a meadow, then a football field, then Amna Suraka’s construction site, where he and his sisters and cousins used to play hide and seek. The work sprouts from these mixed memories and emotions, pointing towards what is trembling, shaking and uncertain in the way one can be present without an ideological position, with all memories and associations within.

Written by Aneta Szylak
Source: http://www.hiwak.net/projects/diagonal/

Diagonal, 2009
C-Print

Iraq, 2009
"In Diagonal, the work by Hiwa K, the artist is depicted inside of a fallen watchtower, his body strained as if in an attempt to push it even further. The sun is high and there is a shadow cast by the derelict fragment of architecture. What emerges is the tension between the luminous sky and the contrasting brutality of the concrete walls and surrounding barbed wire. The human figure is vital and energetic, positioned in the way that recalls the classical representation of the masculine body, like in the Discobolus. There is no plinth, no pedestal that holds the hero though. And there is no hero. The dysfunctional architecture of control provides little support for standing still as if the process of falling is still going on. The title of the work has abstract qualities. It does not contain a historic resemblance although it is clear to us that the location chosen by him is neither accidental nor lacking this reference. Not really a documentation of performance and not portraiture either, the photo brings numerous references without the actual circumstances being known.


We are looking at Amna Suraka – the Red Security Building - built in the early 1980s by Saddam Hussain in Sulaimany – a Kurdish city in Northern Iraq – as a political prison for those who opposed the authority of the Ba’ath Party. The building was taken over by the rebels in 1991 and severely damaged. Still it remains a dark symbol of the authoritarian regime in the very centre of the city. The artist has a lot of memories connected with the shifting history of the site, which used to be just a meadow, then a football field, then Amna Suraka’s construction site, where he and his sisters and cousins used to play hide and seek. The work sprouts from these mixed memories and emotions, pointing towards what is trembling, shaking and uncertain in the way one can be present without an ideological position, with all memories and associations within."

Written by Aneta Szylak
Source: http://www.hiwak.net/projects/diagonal/

Hiwa K, diagonal, 2009, C-Print Photograph, 133 x 200 cm
  • INDEX:

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 continuously 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) and Kunstverein Hannover (2018). Upcoming solo shows will be held at Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw and at the Van Every/Smith Galleries in North Carolina, USA. In 2016 he received the Arnold Bode Prize and the Schering Stiftung Art Award and had a solo exhibition at KW, Berlin (2017). His “Chicago Boys” project is continuously hosted by international institutions.



Full Biography

Close