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Yours, KOW

Residue, 2019

video installation

In nine video works accumulated in Narutowicz Room, Hiwa K puts us into situations that resemble those of his own.
His personal history is told with use of fictionalised narratives, activities and riddles made into house-like maze in which the viewer may experience discomfort, anxiety and closure. The floor plan of this form developed especially for Narutowicz Room is derives from Koji Kamoji's drawing found in this room by the artist at preparation for exhibition and subsequently developed into three–dimensional architectural form. Using Kamoji's drawing as a floor plan for reconstructing Amna Suraka prison, that has different sizes according to the level of punishment.
For the artist the installation ghostly presence connects work presented here before him and echoes tragic death of first president of Poland assassinated in this very room in 1922.
The video works, made between 2006 and 2017, are presented in this form the very first time, coffined in oddly shaped compartments. The artist leads us in the included videos from prisons and shelters, through ruins bombarded cities to Europe, with all its material heritage and problematics of the public space and its protests.

exhibition views Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
photos: Marta Wódz

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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), 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