Hiwa K

Like a good, good, good boy
multi-channel video installation
13:27min, 36:26min, 07:58min
Location: Museum of Public Transport ‘Corneliu Miklosi’

In this project, artist Hiwa K connects three buildings in his hometown Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, with a 1,400-metre rope. These include the house where he lived as a child in the 80s, the school he attended between 1983-89 and the prison where opponents of the Iraqi political system were detained. By accident, the three buildings have the exact same distance from each other, creating a triangle of power.


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, modes of encounter and political situations. 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 professionalisation 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, La Triennale, Intense Proximity, Paris, the “Edgware Road Project” at the Serpentine Gallery, London, the Venice Biennale and documenta14, Kassel/Athens. A selection of recent solo shows include the New Museum, NYC, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Kunstverein Hannover, Jameel Arts Center Dubai, Museum Abteiberg and Powerplant Toronto. In 2016, he received the Arnold Bode Prize and the Schering Stiftung Art Award. His “Chicago Boys” project is continuously hosted by international institutions.