The Citizen, 2015 | © Tobias Zielony, Courtesy of Tobias Zielony and KOW, Berlin
Iraqi-born Hiwa K presents his first ever exhibition in Germany. His installation “It’s Spring and the Weather is Great so Let’s Close All Object Matters” was originally commissioned by the Serpentine Gallery in 2010 and proposed by the artist for the Speaker’s Corner in London – a place commonly associated with the idea of freedom of speech. Hiwa K’s video “This Lemon Tastes of Apple” (2011) documents an intervention undertaken by the artist in Sulaimani, Kurdistan-Northern Iraq, during one of the last days of the civil protest, which was the culmination of a two month-long struggle. “Moon Calendar” documents the rehearsals for an unrealized performance at the Red Security building in Amna Suraka – one of the jails where Saddam Hussein detained political prisoners.
Tobias Zielony’s “The Citizen” is an extension of the eponymous project that began at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Since 2005, Zielony’s photographs have addressed the issues of migration and life on the edge of societal acceptance. “The Citizen” highlights the struggle of African individuals for their rights as refugees in Germany, and their self-staging as precarious political subjects. Twelve African Newspapers collaborated with Zielony, responding to his photographs with articles looking at the topic from the perspective of the refugees’ countries of origin. His installation “Storyboard (Monuments Man)” unfolds surprising connections between refugees’ demonstrations in Berlin, looted art in Germany during the Third Reich, and George Clooney’s recent advertisements for Nestlé alongside his satellite projects to document crimes against humanity.