Harabel Contemporary Art invited renowned artist Hiwa K at the “Black Box” hall (University of Arts), on November 16th, to present his creative works as well as for a conversation between him and the audience. During the Talk, the artist selected some of the works in which, inevitably, he adheres to his background and many of his troublesome life experiences.


One of the most important works is “Pre-Image” (“Blind as Mother Tongue”). This creation takes us back in time: Hiwa-K, among other things, came to Europe walking, through Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy to find refuge in Germany. This long and often dangerous journey was an experience of space and time through which he braced himself for the unknown through spatial and cultural experience. He built an object-sculpture with prefabricated components: a stick and motorcycle mirrors.

By balancing these mirrors on the nose, Hiwa K finds his way by looking into different mirrors. However, the mirror is not intended to reflect, but to navigate. This is a form of survival tool, as he never sees the full view of the place where it is walking; however, this approach will help him complete his journey.

In the last four decades, many people have fled from Iraq as refugees. In 1991, a division created between northern Iraq (Kurdistan) and the rest of Iraq. Kurdistan was now considered a safe zone. As a refugee you have to prove that you come from the unsafe zone in order to qualify as such. “A View from above” is the title of the creation incited by these difficult refugee life experiences in trying to escape death and have a better life.

During the interview for refugee status, an official checks to verify the testimonies. He asks about the small details of the city where the refugee claims to come from and compares the answers to a map. If it is not proven that they come from the unsafe zone, they are sent back to their country of origin. And this certification is difficult for people who live in a dangerous area.

Another project “With Jim White, once upon a time in the west” emerged from the long-term friendship and co-operation with former US soldier Jim White. It consists of a live, ten-minute performance reproducing the melody of Ennio Morricone final western duel scene from the film “Once upon a time in the west” from director Sergio Leone. The work itself is an inquiry into the redistribution of cultural representations and competences.

“Cooking with mama 2005 – ongoing”; “In-appropriation” or “Country guitar lessons7, 2005-2011” are other videos that complemented the life and professional mosaic of Hiwa K.