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Yours, KOW

May 1, 2009

SD video

"To me - as someone who has grown up under a dictatorship in Iraq - the notion of a civil protest and repetitive forms of demonstration -- are an interesting object of study and intervention. Are the democratic forms of protest efficient and do they have an actual affect on change and strengthening democratic values? Or are they are just powerless forms of civil gathering without real political influence, and are slowly becoming just public rituals? A night before the action, I learnt about 1st of May anti-fascist demonstration and found it, from my perspective of frustration as a refugee, rather naïve. It had to do a lot with my experience of inevitability of a war, which cannot be stopped from happening through the means of citizen protest. In parallel, I thought about the uniformed visual message of pursuing a political position such as the longhaired pacifists or head-shaved neo-Nazis. With a hair clipper, I went to the anti-fascist gathering and started shaving my head when trying to talk to peace demonstrators and convince them to shave their heads too. I am trying to reclaim a bald head for everyone and free it form neo-Nazi references. At the same time I encountered a lot of oppositional opinions and by throwing myself into this situation I got to know how young people understand, follow and disseminate their understanding of anti-fascist position and the demonstration as a form of civil protest."

Hiwa K, May 1, 2009, single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP, filmstill
Hiwa K, May 1, 2009, single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP, filmstill
Hiwa K, May 1, 2009, single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP, filmstill
Hiwa K, May 1, 2009, single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP, filmstill
Hiwa K, May 1, 2009, single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP, filmstill
Hiwa K, May 1, 2009, single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP, filmstill
Hiwa K, May 1, 2009, single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP, filmstill

Single channel SD video, 4:3, color, sound (German language with English subtitles), 13:58 min , Ed 5 + 2AP

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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 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.



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