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Nazhad and The Bell Project, 2007–2015

mixed media installation and videos

GermanEnglish

"Nazhad brings us to the workplace of a man from the town South from Sulaimany whose mission is to recycle the battlefield waste. His childhood passion to melt metal has been transformed into his profession as an ironmaster utilizing mines, bombs, bullets, parts of military planes and tanks as well as other remnants of the three Iran-Iraq wars as well as both Gulf Wars. The final process of this undertaking is metal bricks, which he sells as a material for further production. He leads us to the world of his work and his life. His activity transforms the utilities of war into utilities of life. His knowledge was growing though years by doing. He has collected a significant body of knowledge both about the metal itself and its military use as well as a place of origin.

The Bell

The work links two places distant from each other by all means - the wasteland in northern Iraq, and the church in Italy - by manufacturing a bell form the displaced war metal waste. This process will include prefabrication of material in Iraq, transportation via land and sea to Italy, bell casting in a foundry in Italy and the display in the church as well as accompanying activities of knowledge production, such as lectures, performances and publication.

The history knows situations, when cannons were made out of the melted church bells in the time of wars, as the access to bronze was limited. The proposal is to make a reverse transformation and bring back to Europe the metal used for making arms and weapons and give it a form of a bell. The deconsecrated Romanesque church of San Matteo now functions as contemporary art space, and has a niche within a facade that was intended for a bell. The oversized sculpture being produced will be too large to be mounted in a facade. The dysfunctional church bell will rest on the adjacent ground, a silent object which can neither call for prayer, nor raise alarm about imminent dangers.

The person, whose history and activity was a trigger for a project is a Kurdish entrepreneur named Najad from a settlement south of Sulaimany. His childhood passion for melting metal became a source of income, the business and mission is to recycle the battlefield waste as a professional ironmaster. It is of a controversial nature as the business that made him a rich man selling metal moulds globally would not be possible without the Iraq-Iran war (1980-88) and both Gulf Wars (1991, 2003).

Najad utilizes mines, bombs, bullets, parts of military planes and tanks as well as other remnants of military operations. The final products of this undertaking are metal bricks, which he sells as a material for further production in places as distant as China. In the accompanying video, he leads us through the world of his work and his life. What unfolds is his practical experience thoughout the years that has accumulated a significant body of knowledge about both the metal itself and the circulation of the original weapons from which it was obtained.

The project involves students from the local university to research with transdisciplinary approach around all issues connected to the project, such as church history, bell-making, transformation of object, reuse of material and many others. This knowledge is meant to be delivered in performative, oral way during exhibition project and finally become a part of the project’s publication."

Written by Hiwa K and Aneta Szylak

Source: http://www.hiwak.net/projects/nazhad/

Nazhad and The Bell Project, 2007–2015

The Bell, 2014/2015
War waste metal, wood

Nazhad and The Bell Making, 2007–2015
Two channel HD video installation, 16:9, color, sound (with English subtitles)
35:25 min / 25:29 min


"Nazhad brings us to the workplace of a man from the town South from Sulaimany whose mission is to recycle the battlefield waste. His childhood passion to melt metal has been transformed into his profession as an ironmaster utilizing mines, bombs, bullets, parts of military planes and tanks as well as other remnants of the three Iran-Iraq wars as well as both Gulf Wars. The final process of this undertaking is metal bricks, which he sells as a material for further production. He leads us to the world of his work and his life. His activity transforms the utilities of war into utilities of life. His knowledge was growing though years by doing. He has collected a significant body of knowledge both about the metal itself and its military use as well as a place of origin.

The Bell

The work links two places distant from each other by all means - the wasteland in northern Iraq, and the church in Italy - by manufacturing a bell form the displaced war metal waste. This process will include prefabrication of material in Iraq, transportation via land and sea to Italy, bell casting in a foundry in Italy and the display in the church as well as accompanying activities of knowledge production, such as lectures, performances and publication.

The history knows situations, when cannons were made out of the melted church bells in the time of wars, as the access to bronze was limited. The proposal is to make a reverse transformation and bring back to Europe the metal used for making arms and weapons and give it a form of a bell. The deconsecrated Romanesque church of San Matteo now functions as contemporary art space, and has a niche within a facade that was intended for a bell. The oversized sculpture being produced will be too large to be mounted in a facade. The dysfunctional church bell will rest on the adjacent ground, a silent object which can neither call for prayer, nor raise alarm about imminent dangers.

The person, whose history and activity was a trigger for a project is a Kurdish entrepreneur named Najad from a settlement south of Sulaimany. His childhood passion for melting metal became a source of income, the business and mission is to recycle the battlefield waste as a professional ironmaster. It is of a controversial nature as the business that made him a rich man selling metal moulds globally would not be possible without the Iraq-Iran war (1980-88) and both Gulf Wars (1991, 2003).

Najad utilizes mines, bombs, bullets, parts of military planes and tanks as well as other remnants of military operations. The final products of this undertaking are metal bricks, which he sells as a material for further production in places as distant as China. In the accompanying video, he leads us through the world of his work and his life. What unfolds is his practical experience thoughout the years that has accumulated a significant body of knowledge about both the metal itself and the circulation of the original weapons from which it was obtained.

The project involves students from the local university to research with transdisciplinary approach around all issues connected to the project, such as church history, bell-making, transformation of object, reuse of material and many others. This knowledge is meant to be delivered in performative, oral way during exhibition project and finally become a part of the project’s publication."

Written by Hiwa K and Aneta Szylak

Source: http://www.hiwak.net/projects/nazhad/

GermanEnglish

Nazhad and The Bell Making, 2007–2015
Two channel HD video installation, 16:9, color, sound (with English subtitles)
35:25 min / 25:29 min

Nazhad and The Bell Making, 2007–2015
Two channel HD video installation, 16:9, color, sound (with English subtitles)
35:25 min / 25:29 min

Hiwa K, Nazhad and the Bell Making, 2007-2015
Hiwa K, Nazhad and the Bell Making, 2007-2015
Hiwa K, Nazhad and the Bell Making, 2007-2015
GermanEnglish

Nazhad and The Bell Making, 2007–2015
Two channel HD video installation, 16:9, color, sound (with English subtitles)
35:25 min / 25:29 min

Nazhad and The Bell Making, 2007–2015
Two channel HD video installation, 16:9, color, sound (with English subtitles)
35:25 min / 25:29 min

Hiwa K, Nazhad and the Bell Making, 2007-2015
Hiwa K, Nazhad and the Bell Making, 2007-2015
Hiwa K, Nazhad and the Bell Making, 2007-2015
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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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