b. 1980, Egypt

Heba Y. Amin Biography

Heba Y. Amin is an Egyptian mixed-media and performance artist who uses satire and irony within her intensely researched installations, focusing on anti-fascist activist interventionism, post-colonial history, diaspora, feminism, and global ecological change.

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Professor of Digital and Time-Based Art at the State Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart. she is also the co-founder of The Black Athena Collective.

Early Years

Raised in Cairo, Amin's many academic qualifications include: Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art, Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota (1998–2002); Postgraduate study in painting, Macalester College (2002–2003); Master of Fine Arts, College of Design, University of Minnesota (2005–2009); and Digital Cultures Research Lab Fellow, Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University, Lϋneberg, Germany (2017).

Heba Y. Amin Artworks

As Birds Flying (2016) is a short and lyrical video of swirling storks high above the Galilea desert. Like its sister project, The General's Stork (2016), it is about surveillance and paranoia, based on a 2013 event in which a stork tagged by Hungarian scientists was captured by Egyptian fisherman, who believed it was carrying a spy camera. As Birds Flying alludes to an earlier 1995 film, Birds of Darkness, by Adel Imam, where the dialogue references religious and secular disputes between political candidates in Egypt.

Walking a Watermelon in Cairo (2016) references the Chinese artist Han Bing's performance Walking the Cabbage in Tiananmen (2000), a walk that challenges the repetitive nature of daily assumptions and the conventional use of a public space. Both alluded to Situationism, Dada, and Surrealism as ambulatory interventions.

Walking a Watermelon in Cairo also nodded to the Arab Spring movement of anti-government protests, and was an anti-technology gesture mocking the technical intricacies of surveillance hardware.

Another project, Operation Sunken Sea (2018) is a parody of techno-utopian fantasies. It proposes the extraordinary notion of draining the Mediterranean Sea and channelling the water to the heart of Africa, thereby merging Africa physically with the Middle East, helping the flow of migration, enabling more employment, and hopefully, too, promoting democratic systems over fascistic ones.

This artist has been involved with other artistic endeavours too, and is a sought-after curator.

The Black Athena Collective was founded in late 2015 by Amin and Dawit L. Petros to attack the Eurocentric bias of landscape discourse and its methodological assumptions. Engaging in political discourse 'connected to the Red Sea region from Eritrea to Egypt,' through multi-disciplinary procedures, it looks at 'dominant territorial logics and constitution of place ... specifically at architecture in relation to errant bodies.'

Awards and Accolades

Amin is the recipient of the Fondazione Merz 'ad occhi chuisi...' prize (2021), the Anni and Heinrich Sussmann Artist Award (2020), and a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant (2017). She was shortlisted for the Paolo Cuhna E. Silva Prize (2019) and the Kunstpreis de Böttcherstrasse (2018).

Exhibitions

Heba Y. Amin has participated in many solo and group exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions include Zilberman Gallery, Berlin (2022); Heba Y. Amin: When I see the future, I close my eyes, The Mosiac Rooms, London (2021); Fruit from Saturn, The Center for Persecuted Arts, Solingen, Germany (2020); A Rectilinear Propagation of Thought, Zilberman Gallery, Berlin (2018); The Earth is an Imperfect Ellipsoid, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2016).

Group exhibitions include Shadow Architecture, Metro Arts, Brisbane (2021); The Refracted Body, Liverpool Biennial (2021); Library of Land and Sea, 5th Istanbul Design Biennial (2020); Tell me about yesterday tomorrow, Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism (2019); CrossSections, ExLab, the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (2019); Tribe: Contemporary Photography from the Arab World, Katzen Arts Centre, American University Museum, Washington, D.C. (2018); Playing Innocent, MMAG Foundation, Amman (2018).

Collections

Amin's work is held in the collection of The British Museum, London.

Website and Instagram

Amin's website can be found here, and her Instagram here.

John Hurrell | Ocula | 2022

Heba Y. Amin Featured Artworks

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Portrait of a Woman with Theodolite I by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork photography
Heba Y. Amin Portrait of a Woman with Theodolite I, 2019 Archival pigment print
133 x 100 cm
Zilberman Gallery Enquire
Survey of German Landscapes by Night (New Morgenthau Plan) I by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork photography
Heba Y. Amin Survey of German Landscapes by Night (New Morgenthau Plan) I, 2019 Archival pigment print
133 x 100 cm
Zilberman Gallery Enquire
Portrait of a Woman with Theodolite II by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork photography
Heba Y. Amin Portrait of a Woman with Theodolite II, 2019 Archival pigment print
133 x 100 cm
Zilberman Gallery Enquire
Portrait of Woman with Theodolite II by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork print
Heba Y. Amin Portrait of Woman with Theodolite II, 2019 Archival pigment print
150 x 200 cm
Zilberman Gallery Enquire
A Formulation for Unknowing by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork sculpture
Heba Y. Amin A Formulation for Unknowing, 2019 Iron
120 x 220 x 5 cm
Zilberman Gallery Enquire
Non-Architectural Renderings no. 1 by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork works on paper
Heba Y. Amin Non-Architectural Renderings no. 1, 2008–ongoing Pen on archival paper
31.2 x 36.2 x 3 cm
Zilberman Gallery Enquire
As Birds Flying by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork moving image
Heba Y. Amin As Birds Flying, 2016 HD video, 7 min 11 sec
Zilberman Gallery Enquire
A Refraction of Histories by Heba Y. Amin contemporary artwork sculpture
Heba Y. Amin A Refraction of Histories, 2018 Iron, powder coated
200 x 65 x 6 cm
Zilberman Gallery Enquire

Heba Y. Amin Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Heba Y. Amin Represented By

Zilberman Gallery contemporary art gallery in Istanbul, Turkey Zilberman Gallery Berlin, Istanbul

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