When you take the first step towards the unknown, you are engulfed by the darkness of uncertainty. Co-existence is possible only in the face of the unrecognised. The unknown language is a tangled mass through which you penetrate with despair. It is a structure of sense and nonsense, an architecture of traps and a source of endless uncertainty. The story you tell contains a record of fear and hope.

Aneta Szylak and Hiwa K., fragment taken from "The Darkness Wounded" published at www.przemo-wojciechowski.com

Estrangement shows itself precisely in the elimination of distance between people.
Theodor Adorno

But we are meaning in the sense that we are the element in which significations can be produced and circulate.
Jean-Luc Nancy

The concept of Estrangement developed through a series of discussions and collaborative projects between Iraqi artist Hiwa K. and Polish curator Aneta Szylak as an attempt to create a form for mutual translation and collaborative work that is not restricted to one cultural format.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Join us for opening on April 20 @ The Showroom :)

21 April – 5 June 2010
Preview: 20 April 2010, 6 - 8pm,
Hiwa K’s performance at 8pm
Opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm
63 Penfold Street, London

The Showroom presents Estrangement, part of an ongoing project initiated by Polish
curator and artistic director of Wyspa Institute of Art, Aneta Szylak, and Iraqi-Kurdish artist Hiwa K. The project seeks to capture tensions between European cultures and the various past and present constructions of the ‘Orient’.

Involving artists from both regions through international residencies, research and projects, Estrangement seeks ways to rethink cultures of representation and postcolonial relationships as well as create a space for intimate and individual encounters. In London, Estrangement presents works and contextual material gathered from its earlier incarnations, alongside two new commissions by Hiwa K and Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska following their residencies in the Church Street neighbourhood and Edgware Road areas, together with an exhibition and events programme.

Hiwa K is collaborating with Jim White, a former American soldier and now a caretaker at a German art academy, on a live performance of Ennio Morricone’s score for the final duel scene from Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Western Once Upon A Time In The West. The work is an enquiry into the redistribution of dominant cultural representations and competences. Hiwa K and Jim White – who was taught to play country guitar music by the artist - will perform the work with a live brass band accompaniment at the Cockpit Theatre on 20 April 2010. The performance takes place against the screening of the actual film scene and will take 10 minutes. Rajkowska’s project refers to the history of Edgware Road as an ancient thoroughfare. Her proposal is an object – a chariot, partly made in collaboration with the Edgware Road community. Chariots originate from Central Asia but were in use longest in Britain. The piece explores the Middle Eastern origins of this vehicle whilst considering ideas of destination, arrival and circulation of cultural forms.

Estrangement does not intend to represent cultures or make them visible. Instead, the focus is on the potential of the works of art produced and the possibilities it may present in terms of discussion and making. In keeping with this idea, the resource room at The Showroom will include materials from projects in Kurdistan, dialogues with artists residing in Europe, documentation of workshops, texts and notes as well as videos and photographs by artists Rozhgar Mahmud Mustafa, Sherko Abbas, Shirwan Fatih, Shirwan Can, Diary Muhammad Osman, Poshya Kakil, Horen Gharib, Hemin Hamid, Gaylan Amin, Bitwen Ali, Mattias Olofsson, Knutte Wester, Anton Katz, Maryam Jafri, Azer Othman Mahmud, Zeria Adnan, Nehro Shawki, Soran Rafat and Hardi Kurda. A single issue publication with contributions by all the artists, the curators and Irit Rogoff, Francesca Recchia, Cihat Arinc and Janna Graham will further develop the themes.

For further information please contact Natasha Tebbs on 020 7724 4300 or natasha@theshowroom.org.