Hi my name is Hiwa K. I’m a Kurdish artist from Iraq living in Germany.
Preimage is a video I made for documenta, 2015. I started working on it for two years and I was tracing the way from Turkey till Rome where many people who immigrate or are refugees are going through. It’s from Evros, the river, then to Kaval (sp?), until Kaval they are villages. I was also in touch with a smuggler who was telling me which villages are there. And then… so tracing all these paths of, I wouldn’t say necessarily me, but everyone as asylum or immigrants from Iraq, you would take those ways long ago.
Preimage is about an image which you make of somebody else and it’s very much about not being able to make an image because you don’t have the stability and you are always in a shaky position where you see things fragmented and where you don’t have a relationship to reality but then a fair, not reality only but also to your surroundings. In preimage you see a device, a self-made device, made from motorbikes mirrors and a stick, where I had to spend many months in 2010 to learn how to balance it on my nose. And as I put this stick on my nose I cannot see with the naked eye my surroundings so my path or my way, so I have to look upwards from the mirrors and see many options and take one of them.
So it’s more a navigation tool for me and also to keep this balance it puts you always in a panic and you have to choose because it’s a game, it has it’s grammar and you have to keep this grammar. It’s a game and if it falls you lose that game of course and that’s why you have this panic of not losing. It’s also kind of a play between an ethical part and an aesthetical part. So the ethical part is which way you take and the aesthetical is how you balance the work.