Opening on Friday, 25th of May at 8pm
In his videos and installations, the artist Hiwa K, born in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan, reflects on his own history of migration and translates it into works that are poetically and narratively multifaceted. The question concerning geographic situatedness, the search for orientation, or becoming aware of oneself play a fundamental role in the works by the artist, who once said that his “homeland” is located in his feet.
In the exhibition’s eponymous work Moon Calendar (2007), Hiwa K can be seen dancing in a hall that is part of the Iraqi prison complex Amna Souraka while monitoring his heartbeat with the use of a stethoscope and transferring it, like a transcription, to the floor into flamenco dance steps. Thus a process develops that reminds the artist of his positioning as well as timing within the context-laden surrounding space with each beat and counter-beat of his heart.
Besides existing works, Hiwa K will realize two expansive installations: inspired by the work My Father’s Colour Period (2013), he uses the prominent windows of the Kunstverein as screens to channel sunlight into the space in different colors. And finally, the monumental work in sand, What the Barbarians Did Not Do, Did the Barberini (2012), spreads out monumentally. It makes formal reference to the Pantheon and in terms of content takes up its discourse on the ambivalent character of the material bronze—for the purpose of creating art and manufacturing weapons—and extends it geographically.
Observations are Hiwa K’s basic source material. He uses himself as material to vicariously act as a metaphorical protagonist who impressively reveals the present and the references to historical contexts it contains performatively as well as philosophically.
Moon Calendar developed in collaboration with the Belgian S.M.A.K. in Ghent. Hiwa K has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including documenta 14 and the 56th Venice Biennale.