The Mosaic Rooms announces the first UK solo exhibition of artist Heba Y. Amin. Amin investigates how the elusive narratives of regional politics in the Middle East relate to global concerns. Her research-based, multimedia works take speculative, and sometimes satirical, approaches to understanding these historical events and processes.
This exhibition presents the latest iterations of three distinct and evolving bodies of work by the artist: Project Speak2Tweet, The General’s Stork and Operation Sunken Sea. All stem from real life subjects; from the new technological formats that were instrumental in Egypt’s revolution, to a migratory bird turned international ‘spy’, and finally a proposal to ‘solve’ the migration crisis by draining the Mediterranean Sea.
Alongside performances and interventions, Amin’s research integrates film, photography, and digital technology in order to think through present-day issues and the potential future significance of occluded stories and archived, largely overlooked, material. The research incorporated within these works will be added to by the artist as the show unfolds.
The exhibition is curated by Anthony Downey.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of events. This will include the launch of a new book by Amin and Downey, Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork (Sternberg Press, 2020). Through the lens of paranoia that can lead to a bird being accused of spying, this volume reveals, with contributions from Adam Harvey, Adel Iskandar, Haitham Mossad, and Laura Poitras, the extent to which military techniques of visualization define and ultimately delimit the topography of the Middle East.
Heba Y. Amin is a multi-media artist from Egypt. She works with political themes and archival history, using mediums including film, photography, archival material, lecture performance and installation. Amin teaches at Bard College Berlin, is a doctorate fellow in art history at Freie Universität, and a current Field of Vision fellow in New York. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal, and co-curator for the biennial residency program DEFAULT with Ramdom Association.
Amin has had recent exhibitions at the Böttcherstrasse Prize Exhibition, MAXXI Museum, 10th Berlin Biennale, 15th Istanbul Biennale, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, Karachi Biennale KB17, 11th African Biennale Photography, 12th Dak’Art Biennale Kalmar, FACT Liverpool, Kunsthalle Wien, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the Kunstverein in Hamburg, Camera Austria, Berlin Berlinale 9th Forum Expanded Exhibition, and the IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. Amin is also one of the artists behind the subversive graffiti action on the set of the television series “Homeland” which received worldwide media attention.
Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is currently a Co-investigator on AHRC and GCRF–funded research projects that focus on cultural practices, education, and digital methodologies in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. He sits on the editorial boards of Third Text and Digital War, respectively, and is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press, 2019–ongoing). Upcoming and recent publications include Unbearable States: Digital Media, Cultural Activism and Human Rights (forthcoming, 2021) and Critique in Practice (Sternberg Press, 2020).
Image: Operation Sunken Sea: Relocating the Mediterranean, Inaugural Speech, 2018 One channel video, 18’21”
The Mosaic Rooms
226 Cromwell Road
London SW5 0SW, UK