Rebeen Hamarafiq

Tunning body, 2016


18 minutes, 8 seconds

Tunning body is a work which shows tension between violence, dance and sound. While the sticks act as a Kurdish musical instrument, Shmshal, at the same time they are sticks used in martial arts. The body takes position among all such complexities, reflecting the reality of Kurdish society in Iraq.

The work grew from an experiment with body and sound, made for the project Clamour. The first display of the work was shown as a video documentation of the actual performance.

For the project Space21, I did the performance live and in front of an audience for the first time. This opens up possibilities for many other directions for the work to develop. At the same time, it records layers of the politics and history embedded in the different locations,” Hamarafiq said.

Artist’s biography

A Kurdish Iraqi artist, curator and researcher, Rabeen Hamarafiq studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London. He is the director of the Factory Hall inside Culture Factory, the biggest cultural project in Iraq.

His work focuses on the relationship between daily life and art, social constructions of power and meaning, the body’s reaction to norms and modern living, and the re-habitation of Iraqi society after much destruction through wars and the rapid changes of the post-Saddam era. 

Hamarafiq is fighting stereotypical, international images of Iraq by promoting and building up local views. His philosophy is different from that of many other Kurdish artists, as he does not want to create works about Kurdistan or about himself as a Kurd. Rather, he sees himself as an international artist dealing with universal issues.

Hamarafiq has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in Showroom London, Alternativa Gdańsk, Cal Art, Los Angeles, and Museo di Roma in Trastevere. His past grants and residences have included Spotlight Iraq, Live Art and an ArtsAdmin residency in London.