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Yours, KOW

What the Barbarians did not do, did the Barberini, 2012

mixed media installation

GermanEnglish

The work conceived and produced by Hiwa K during his residency at MACRO links monuments and sites as distant as Rome’s Pantheon and war metal wasteland in the North of Iraq. Its title relates to the telling criticizing Maffeo Barberini — the bellicose pope Urban VIII of the seventeenth century — for the use of bronze from the Pantheon’s portico to make the papal baldachin and for his canon foundry.

Bronze is a metal used for both art and war, linking therefore the fields of visual representation and military execution of power. Previously, as in the seventh century, decorative elements such as stars or rosettes from the Pantheon’s dome were taken to Constantinople by its emperor Constans II. These stories, belonging to different times and locations, are connected through the work to the foundry in the outskirts of As Sulaimanyah, where the local businessman Nazhad melts and casts metal obtained from the battlefields of the Iraq-Iran War, Gulf Wars and, recently, Syria’s Arab Spring. The methods of casting are executed in sand moulds and the casting forms pressed in sand bring similar formal references. The coffers of Pantheon’s concrete ceiling and its form resemble foundry-type molds. The sand sculpture presented here is made through a similar molding technique to create the mockup for a Pantheon’s dome unit whilst photos and purposely-raw video material from Nazhad’s foundry allow us to follow melting and casting processes.

An important part of the project was guessing and immersion to the object of study. The artist calculated the angles using a basic equipment of nails and threads as histori- cally builders used to and the traces of this process can be seen on the walls. The outcome became the basis for making the mold to press the sand in order to receive the shape of the sculpture resembling casting forms.

Hiwa K, What the Barbarians did not do, did the Barberini [2012]

The work conceived and produced by Hiwa K during his residency at MACRO links monuments and sites as distant as Rome’s Pantheon and war metal wasteland in the North of Iraq. Its title relates to the telling criticizing Maffeo Barberini — the bellicose pope Urban VIII of the seventeenth century — for the use of bronze from the Pantheon’s portico to make the papal baldachin and for his canon foundry.

Bronze is a metal used for both art and war, linking therefore the fields of visual representation and military execution of power. Previously, as in the seventh century, decorative elements such as stars or rosettes from the Pantheon’s dome were taken to Constantinople by its emperor Constans II. These stories, belonging to different times and locations, are connected through the work to the foundry in the outskirts of As Sulaimanyah, where the local businessman Nazhad melts and casts metal obtained from the battlefields of the Iraq-Iran War, Gulf Wars and, recently, Syria’s Arab Spring. The methods of casting are executed in sand moulds and the casting forms pressed in sand bring similar formal references. The coffers of Pantheon’s concrete ceiling and its form resemble foundry-type molds. The sand sculpture presented here is made through a similar molding technique to create the mockup for a Pantheon’s dome unit whilst photos and purposely-raw video material from Nazhad’s foundry allow us to follow melting and casting processes.

An important part of the project was guessing and immersion to the object of study. The artist calculated the angles using a basic equipment of nails and threads as histori- cally builders used to and the traces of this process can be seen on the walls. The outcome became the basis for making the mold to press the sand in order to receive the shape of the sculpture resembling casting forms.

Hiwa K, What the Barbarians did not do, did the Barberini, 2012, Installation view S.M.A.K., Ghent, 2017, sand, HD video projection, 40 x 400 x 400 cm
Hiwa K, What the Barbarians did not do, did the Barberini, 2012, Installation view KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2017, sand, 40 x 400 x 400 cm
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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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