In 1996, at age 21, the Iraqi-Kurdish artist Hiwa K fled Kurdistan on foot, embarking on a journey to Europe that lasted five months and twenty days. He lived in Germany for almost two decades and in 2020 he moved back to his birthplace of Sulaymaniyah, in Kurdistan. Do you remember what you are burning? is Hiwa K’s first solo exhibition in Ireland, bringing together works created over the past ten years.
The exhibition’s title is taken from one of the featured artworks, Do you remember what you are burning? (2011-17), for which the artist invited students to bring a book of choice to the old town square Saray Azadi (Freedom Square), Sulaymaniyah, the site of many anti-government protests. They quietly read these books with a magnifying glass, focusing the sun’s rays and erasing the books’ contents letter by letter.
Comprised of films, installations, and performances, Hiwa K’s work examines themes of migration, identity and collective ways of being. Concentrating on the conditions one can experience when on the margin of society, the artist frequently refers to the geopolitical ties between his native Kurdistan and the many locations in Europe that he has called home.
‘Hiwa K’s intense dedication to current concerns is what makes him one of the most exciting artists working today and we are very pleased to welcome Hiwa K to Hugh Lane Gallery.’ – Barbara Dawson
His work is a unique combination of autobiographical stories in which politics and history form the backdrop to performative interventions.
‘There is an insistent energy around Hiwa K’s practice – that is first felt emotionally and then intellectually.’– Michael Dempsey
‘The works that I do mostly point with the pinkie; they leave space for the audience to produce their own readings.’ – Hiwa K
A supporting programme of talks and lectures to be announced. Please visit hughlane.ie for updates.
Hiwa K: Do you remember what you are burning? is an exhibition conceived as a three-venue collaboration with the artist Hiwa K by the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto.
Hiwa K (b. 1975) lives and works between Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan and Berlin, Germany. Hiwa K’s works have been included in group exhibitions including the 56th Venice Biennial (2015); documenta 14, Kassel (2017); Yinchuan Biennale, China (2018); Asian Art Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan (2019); Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_ Videobrasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2019); Anren Biennale, Sichuan, China (2019); and MOMA Ps1, New York (2019). Recent solo exhibitions include: Museum Abteiberg, Germany (2021); Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (2019); S.M.A.K. Museum, Ghent (2018); KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017) and KOW Gallery, Berlin (2016). His work has been awarded the 2019 Hector Preis and, in 2016, the Arnold Bode Prize and the Shering Stiftung Award.
Admission Free. All Welcome.
The exhibition opens in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Parnell Square, Dublin 1 on 7 October 2021 and will run until 13 February 2022.
For further information please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org (01) 222 5571
Victoria.email@example.com (01) 222 5563