Thursday 08/02/18 3PM
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Conversations Exhibition-Related · Exhibition-Related

Gallery Talk: Aneta Szyłak on “Hiwa K: Blind as the Mother Tongue”

Cover Image:

Hiwa K, The Bell Project, 2007–15 (still). Two-channel HD and SD video installation, sound, color; 35:25 min and 25:29 min. © Hiwa K. Courtesy the artist; KOW, Berlin; and Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan/Lucca

Join us for an in-gallery talk with independent curator Aneta Szyłak, a collaborator of artist Hiwa K since 2005, on the occasion of the exhibition “Hiwa K: Blind as the Mother Tongue.” Drawing on vernacular forms and collaborative and performative actions, the Iraqi-Kurdish artist makes work inspired by political events, chance encounters, oral histories, and his own experiences, including fleeing Iraq on foot in the late 1990s. Szyłak’s talk will address how her collaborations with Hiwa K considered aspects of uncertainty, collaboration, and mutual translation.

Hiwa K has shown in numerous group exhibitions, including documenta 14 (2017), the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), La Triennale, Paris (2012), and Manifesta 7, Bolzano (2008). Recent solo exhibitions include S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, and Kunstverein Hannover (2018); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2017); De Appel, Amsterdam (2017); Kunsthalle C, Stockholm (2015); and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2010). His ongoing performance project Chicago Boys While We Were Singing They Were Dreaming has been hosted by institutions such as Alternativa Festival, Gdansk; CASCO in Utrecht; the Serpentine Gallery in London; MACRO/Rome; MuHKA, Antwerp; and MUSAC, León.

Aneta Szyłak is a curator, researcher, and writer, and recently founded NOMUS – New Art Museum in Gdansk, Poland. She was previously founding director of Wyspa Institute of Art in Gdansk (2004–2014) and at Centre for Contemporary Art Łaźnia (1998−2001). From 2010–2016 she was Artistic Director of Gdansk’s ALTERNATIVA International Visual Arts Festival. Szyłak has collaborated with Hiwa K since 2005, most closely during their joint project “Estrangement” in Kurdish Iraq from 2008–12.

Gallery talks are free with paid Museum admission, but attendance is limited. Gallery admission must be purchased in order to reserve a spot. Members can reserve here. Students and seniors, please RSVP by email for discounted admission.


This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Support for “Hiwa K: Blind as the Mother Tongue” can be viewed here.

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