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 amateur musician Jim White on a new version 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 dominant cultural representations, cultural competences and their redistribution. Hiwa K, Jim White and a brass band will perform the work at the Cockpit Theatre on 20 April 2010. 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, Hemen Gharib, Gaylan Amin, Bitwen Ali, Mattias Olofsson, Knutte Wester, Maryam Jafri, Azer Othman Mahmud, Zeria Adnan, 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.
The project is an outcome of the partnership between The Showroom and Wyspa Institute of Art. Hiwa K’s residency is organised in collaboration with the Serpentine Gallery, and Joanna Rajkowska’s project is part of POLSKA! YEAR. The additional residency of Shirwan Fatih and Sherko Abbas has been made possible through the generosity of The Delfina Foundation. Additional financial support for the project has been provided by Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute and Goethe Institut. Research funding for Aneta Szylak and Hiwa K has been provided by American Center Foundation, European Cultural Foundation, ifa and Platform Garanti.
The project is part of POLSKA! YEAR. POLSKA! YEAR comprises more than 200 events promoting Polish culture in the UK. The project takes place under the patronage of HM The Queen and HE The President of the Republic of Poland. POLSKA! YEAR is co-ordinated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and supported by the Polish Embassy and the Polish Cultural Institute in London.
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