Documenta 14- A review of sorts


Art, politics, politics art. Can the two truly be separated? Is art a political statement? Is everything not politicized? Is politics not an art? Art influences. Politics is influential. The point is to move, to create discussion, to provoke perspectives.

Photo Credit: Lena Grundhuber

This is art. Created by Hiwa K. Born in Kurdistan, Iraq, now living in Germany. Both countries affected by the current refugee crisis. A topic confronted in this years Documenta.

The stacked clay cylinders each house micro-environments, each environment can be found within a home. The lighting has been carefully considered and the spaces fully furnished- luxury items included. Yet most could not properly sit up. Army crawling would be the only way to get from one end to the next, and the tiny spaces show signs of use by multitudes of people.

When We Were Exhaling Images, the title of the piece, is a standing contradiction. The work displays comfort and unrest- luxury and limitations – claustrophobia and fresh air. The play with visual contrasts- the cold clay exteriors with comfortable interiors, limited space enforced on the otherwise open square in Kassel.

For me, it links back to displacement and the delicate balance of seeking home and, therefore, stability. This installation is a visual expression of reaction- of feeling and seeking. Can these expressions be spared from politics…?

Documenta is open in Kassel, Germany until the 17 of September 2017.

Hiwa K
When We Were Exhaling Images (2017)
A series of steel tubes filled with personal objects, cots, lamps and books.
Documenta Halle, Friedrichsplatz

Photo Credit: Jillian Meyer
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