Videoart at Midnight #81: Hiwa K

13 Jan 2017

Kino Babylon

Berlin, Germany


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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 Germany in 1988, Hiwa K studied music; specifically he was a pupil of the Flamenco master Paco Peña. His works escape normative aesthetics but give a possibility of another vibration to vernacular forms, oral histories (Chicago boys, 2011), 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 was involved in various collective exhibitions such as La Triennale in Paris and the “Edgware Road Project” at the Serpentine Gallery in London. His “Chicago Boys” project is continuously hosted by international institutions. Hiwa K participated in Manifesta 7 and the Venice Biennale 2015. In 2017 he will participate in documenta 14.

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Hiwa K


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