Friday, August 22, 2014

Once Upon A Time In The West by Hiwa K with Jim White

This is a pretty astonishing example of intercultural collaboration. This piece emerged from a friendship and long-term collaboration between Iraqi Kurdish artist Hiwa K, who took asylum in Germany, and Jim White, a former American soldier and subsequently a caretaker at a German art academy where Hiwa studied. Hiwa taught Jim to play country guitar (!) and songs by country singers like Johnny Cash. 

This piece,  work consists of a live, ten-minute performance simulating Ennio Morricone’s score for the final duel scene of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western, Once Upon a Time in the West. The work is "an inquiry into the redistribution of dominant cultural representations and competences." 

Hiwa K (harmonica) and Jim White (guitar) perform with orchestra. 

This was performed at the New Museum in New York City, as part of the museum's exhibit of  contemporary art from and about the Arab World, called "Here and Elsewhere." I found it by going to the exhibit link and going to "Dig Deeper."

Here's an excellent review of the exhibit, which runs through September 28.

Here is Hiwa K's website, so you can dig deeper yourself.

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