Samah Hijawi is an artist and researcher currently doing her PhD in Art Practice at ULB and the Academie Royale Des Beaux Art de Bruxelles, Belgium. In her multi-media works she is exploring the aesthetics of representation in artworks that allude to the histories of Palestine. Her works have been shown in The Hayward Gallery in London, BOZAR and Beurscchouwburg in Brussels, Bureau Europa- Maastricht, MoMa and Apex Art - New York; Darat al Funun - Amman, among others. She previously collaborated with Ola El-Khalidi and Diala Khasawneh in directing Makan Art Space (2003-2016), an independent space for contemporary art in Amman. And together with Shuruq Harb and Toleen Touq she co-curated the platform The River has Two Banks (2012-2017), initiated in to address the growing distance between Jordan and Palestine.
Latest Artistic presentations:
‘Reflections o the Failure of the Letter H(eitch), performance, Chambers d’O, Muzee Ostend, Jan 2019
’Reflections on the Failures of the Letter H(eitch), performance, KASK Brussels, Nov 2018
'Reflections on the Failures of the Letter H(eitch), performance, BOZAR Brussels, May 2018.
"Chicken Scribbles and the Dove that Looks like a Frog" Mosaic Rooms, May 2018, London.
"Holy Dives" Site specific Installation, Minard Theater in Gent and the Qattan Foundation in Ramallah, 2018.
"Chicken Scribbles and the Dove that Looks like a Frog" performed in the Beurscchouwburg, as part of the SIC presentations in Brussels Feb 2017.
"Script for a Beautiful Landscape" for the River Has Two Banks online platform, and exhibited in The Bronze-green oak wood* From Landscape to Back Garden, curated by Saskia Van Stein, in Bureau Europa, Sept 2016.
"Paradise Series" for About the Future of Palestine, curated by Sarha Collective at P21 Gallery, London, August 2016.
“The Wandering Singer of Tales” Darat Al Funun, The Khalid Shoman foundation, April 2016.
“The Wandering Singer of Tales” and “Paradise Series” for Echoes and Reverberations at The Hayward Gallery Project Space curated by Aaron Cezar from Delfina Foundation, London, June 2015.
“The wandering singer of Tales” performance, for Volver, Aleppo art space and A.Pass, Brussels, 2015
“The Dream” lecture performance at Konstepedemin, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2014.
"Where are the Arabs?" screening and artist talk , curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, MoMa PS1, New York, 2014
"Arab Unity Chorale" for Modern and Contemporary Arab Art Exhibition, Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen, 2014
"Paradise" for Real Imaginary Futures, curated by Saskia Van Stein, at Bureau Europa, Netherlands, 2014
“Chicken Scribbles and the Dove that Looks like a Frog” solo exhibition at Darat Al Funun: The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman 2013
“Twenty Two Years Today - 2013” collaboration with Diala Khasawnih, for Open Sesame at Apex Art, curated by Ola El Khalidi, New York, 2013
“It all Collapses in the Living Room” installation for Jericho-Beyond the Celestial and Terrestrial: 4th Cities Exhibition at Birzeit University Museum, curated by Yazid Anani, Ramallah, 2013
“Jericho: a new road map” Intervention in public space, for Jericho-Beyond the Celestial and Terrestrial: 4th Cities Exhibition curated by Yazid Anani, October 2012
“The Sexual Psychology of Hermaphrodites” for Meeting Points 6 curated by Okwui Enwezor at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2012, Onasiss Culture Center Athens 2012; Beirut Art Center, Lebanon 2011, and Hakaya Festival at Al Balad Theater, Jordan, 2011
"This Works does not mean Anything to Me: Musings on Art and Art Discourse" intervention at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, for Sentences on the Banks and Other Activities Curated by Abdellah Karroum for Darat Al Funun: the Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman, 2011
"Where are the Arabs?" public intervention, curated by Makan Art Space, Amman; and Ramallah city curated by Art School Palestine, 2009, and for Disorientation II, at Saadiyat Island, curated by Jack Persikian, U.A.E, 2010.
“Arab Unity Chorale” for The Other Show of the City, curated by Samar Martha, at Al Hosh Gallery, Jerusalem, 2009.
The river has two banks a curatorial initiative with Toleen Touq and Shuruq Harb in Jordan and Palestine, 2012-ongoing
Collecting Architecture Territories, curatorial advisor and co-cordinator, with the Studio-X Lab Amman, Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University and Columbia University Global Research Centers, Amman, 2013
Makan Art Space, Amman 2011-2013
Unclassified, Meeting Points 4, co-curator for the local program, 2007
2005-2015: Makan Art Space, as project coordinator and later Artistic director in a collectively run art project
2014-2015 short-term coordination projects with the Young Arab Theater Fund (Mophradat) and Art Moves Africa in Brussels.
2005-2008: Lecturer, University of Jordan, Department of Art and Design
2011&2013: Lecturer in AMIDEAST American University Exchange Program,
2007-2008: Lead Artist Nahnou Together: Museum Education Program for the British Council-Amman, and Tate Britain London.
Conferences, Meetings and Symposiums
"Stories from the Life of Layla" at Re:Moving Apartheid symposium, organized by SPAM in the University of Gent, Oct 2016.
“This work does not mean anything to me; musings on art and art discourse” for the conference Translating in the Mediterranean, by Anna Lindh and Transeuropeenne, Cairo 2014.
“Where Are the Arabs, Public performance” presentation for the 4th March Meeting in a session on Performing Arts: Creating New Work and New Audiences, by The Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, 2012
“What about pre-revolutions? Makan’s political engagement through its curatorial work” presentation for Translating Revolutions by Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, 2012
“Art and Civil Society” The Mediterranean: Cultural Dialogue after the Arab Spring conference organized by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IFA) in collaboration with the Charlemagne Institute for European Studies (ICEE), hosted by Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona - Spain, 2011
“Political Influences on aesthetics in Jordan” at the conference Modern Arab Art: Objects, Histories, Methodologies for Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey, hosted by Mathaf: The museum of Modern Arab Art, Qatar, 2010
"You are Not An Artist" & " This work does not mean anything to me" video lecture, Art Hub New Silk Roads symposium, Thailand 2009.
Education and study programs
Currently PhD Universite Libre de Bruxelles, and the Academie Royale des Baux Arts de Bruxelles, (ARBA EsA) Brussels 2014 ongoing.
Post-master research program, A.pass, Brussels, June 2014 - May 2015
Masters in Fine Arts, Central Saint Martins, London - 2005
Bachelors in Fine Arts, Lebanese American University - Beirut 1999
9 month Independent Study Program on Arab Art Hirtoires, Townhouse - Cairo, 2010
Production Awards and Residencies
Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek research grant, 2018
Flemish Community, Belgium, research grant 2018
Moussem production grant, Belgium, 2017
AM Qattan Foundation, Artist Grant, 2016
Art OMI residency for International Artists, New York, USA 2012
Hotel Maria Kapel, 3-month research residency, Hoorn, Netherlands, 2010
Art School Palestine, one month research and production residency, Palestine, 2009
Sommer Akademie Workshop at Paul Klee Museum, Bern, Switzerland, 2011
Production Grant “Chicken Scribbles and the Dove that looks like a Frog” exhibition Darat Al Funun, 2013
Production Grant “The Sexual Psychology of Hermaphrodites” Young Arab Theater Fund for Meeting Points 6, 2011
Production Grant for “Arab Unity Chorale” Art School Palestine for Other Shadow of the City, 2010
Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt, 2008
Production Grant “The Gas Car Project” from the European Union Amman, 2009
Production Grant “Where are the Arabs?” from Young Arab Theater Fund, Belgium, 2009