Moshtari Hilal is a visual artist and researcher living in Hamburg and Berlin. Her work is shaped by the (self)portrait and family archive. With a special focus on analogue drawing, Moshtari considers her overall practice nonetheless to be interdisciplinary and process-oriented. While her process begins with the personal as a resource, it involves as well academic research and the engagement with the public, in form of lectures, essays, artist talks, interviews and social media. She describes her artistic practice as reconciliation with shame and negated beauty, as well as the critical subversion of colonial continuities. Moshtari Hilal is also co-founder of the global interdisciplinary research collective AVAH (Afghan Visual Arts and History), co-founder of Berlin-based research collective CCC (Curating Through Conflict with Care) and co-creator of Studio Hilal, a platform dedicated to prints on textile on the nexus of art and fashion with her sister and designer Zuhra Hilal.
In her body of work exploring the possibilities of the visual arts and analogue drawing in particular:
Moshtari Hilal aims for a visual language that is shaped by the subjective. Consequently, the artist works with the drawn line as means and symbol of a figurative vocabulary that refers to the black-haired body. In addition, her portraits deal with recurring motifs, such as the prominent nose, the figure of the mother or the family archive. Hilal is interested in the visualisation of beauty and intimacy that goes beyond normative and dominant visual habits.
Moshtari Hilal studied Islamic Studies and Political Theory in Hamburg, Amman, Berlin and London, focusing on Gender and Decolonial theory. She has exhibited her drawings worldwide since the age of 19, including in Kabul, New Jersey, Hanover, Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Gothenburg, Tehran, Sopot, Barcelona, London and Beirut. Among these have been her solo exhibitions in Hamburg at Âme Nue (Dec.-Jan. 2020), in London at the Goldsmith University of Fine Arts (Oct. 2018) and her exhibitions "The Black Haired Bomb" (Aug. 2019) and "The Girl with the Moustache" (Nov. - Jan. 2016) in Berlin. Hilal has also shown her work in group exhibitions at the Sopot National Gallery of Art in Poland (2018), the Tehran-Niavaran complex in Iran (2017), the Museum del Disseny in Barcelona (2017), the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin (2017), the Institute Francais in Kabul (2012) and in Hamburg (2019). From July to September 2017 Moshtari Hilal was a fellow at the Swedish artists' residence Konstepidemin Gothenburg. 2019 Hilal was invited to the Beirut Design Week, spoke as a guest speaker at MARKK - Museum of the Arts and Cultures of the World in Hamburg, at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg and at the University of Bamberg. Most recently Hilal was a part of the Curatorial Workshop 2020 at the Berlin Biennale 11. In addition to her artistic work, Hilal is also being invited to speak on feminist and anti-racist and decolonial issues in the visual economy of Europe in grassroots organisations, universities and political foundations.
List of Selected Exhibitions and Artist Talks
“The Warm Pillow was My Mother, The Blanket My Father”
12.12-17.01.2020 Hamburg, Germany
Solo-Show at Âme Nue, Curated by Liberty Adrien
“The Black Haired Bomb”
21.-23.08.2019 Berlin, Germany
Solo-Show Commissioned by Pop-Kultur-Festival
“BANAL – an exploration of everyday aesthetics”
27.10.-04.11.2018 London, UK
Solo-Show at Enclave Lab, Goldsmith University
Curated by Shirin Fathi and Kathy Cho
"The Angle of a Phallus is Equal to the Angle of a Nose"
13.04- 14.04.2018 Hamburg, Germany
Solo Show at Galerie 21, Vorwerk-Stift
"The Girl with the Moustache"
30.11.-30.01.2016 Berlin, Germany
Solo-Show at Literary Colloquium
“Unlearning Ugliness – About Artistic Practice and Colonial Seeing Habits”
26.02.2020 Hamburg, Germany
Artist Talk at MARKK – Museum for the Arts and Cultures of the World
“Drawing as Semi-Documental Sculpture”
05.11.2019 Hamburg, Germany
Artist Talk at HfBK, University of Fine Arts
"Creating Beyond the Collective Other"
25.07.2019 Bamberg, Germany
Artist Talk at the University of Bamberg, invited by Prof. Charlotte Bank
"The Crack begins Within"
Oct-Nov 2020 Berlin
Curatorial Workshop at Berlin Biennale 11
24.-27.04.2019 London, UK
Art Residency at Albany, Curated by Zahed Sultan
“Artists in Residence at Konstepidemin”
31. 07 -30. 09.2017 Gothenburg, Sweden
One of Two Selected IASPIS Scholarship Holders
(International Artists Studio Programme)
"S T R U K T U R"
04.10 - 24.10.2020 Hamburg, Germany
Group Exhibition with Barbara Lüdde
at Feinkunst Krüger
“The Flowers of Evil”
29.09 – 13.01.2019 Sopot, Poland
Group Exhibition at Sopot National Gallery of Art
“La Nuit de l’Instant c’est l’imagination au pouvoir”
13.-14.09.2019 Marseille, France
Group Exhibition at Centre Photographique Marseille
“When My Mother Entered My Work”
03.-07.07.2019 Beirut, Lebanon
On Display at Beirut Design Week
“Long Night of Museums - la Nuit de l'Instant"
18.-19.05.2019 Hamburg, Germany
Group Exhibition at Institut Francais
15.-18.03.2018 Hamburg, Germany
Group Exhibition at Affenfaust Gallery
04.3-10.3.2018 Cologne, Germany
Group Exhibition at qlit*clgn Festival
02.-04.03.2018 Berlin, Germany
Group Exhibition at Cosmonauts' Studio
10.11.2017 Barcelona, Spain
Pop-Up Exhibition at Museum del Disseny, Curated by Van Van
"Nimrouz - The First Global Visual Arts Exhibition of Afghanistan”
03.- 17.11.2017 Tehran, Iran
Group Exhibition at Niavaran, curated by Maryam Kuhestani
“South Asian Evocations and Becomings"
27.10.2017 New York City, USA
Group Exhibition at China Town Soup, curated by @southasia.art
26.05- 14.06.2017 Berlin, Germany
Group Exhibition at Heinrich Böll Foundation
"Empathy Won’t Save Us"
08.09.2016 Hannover, Germany
On Display at CLINCH - Postcolonial Festival
"Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan 1979- 2014"
05.03 - 17.04.2014 New Jersey, USA
Group Exhibition at TCNJ-Art Gallery, The College of New Jersey
“Buna Hour/Arts of the Everyday – Postcolonial Poly Perspectives”
06.12.2019 Berlin, Germany
Panel Discussion at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Theater
“Role of the Arts in (New) Forms of Grassroot Politics? “
16.11.2019 Berlin, Germany
Panel Talk at the XartSplitta
“What We Left Unfinished” (Film Premiere by Mariam Ghani)
09.02.2019 Berlin, Germany
Panel Discussion at Berlinale (Arsenal Cinema)
"Wish you were Queer - on aesthetics and politics”
30.03.2017 Hamburg, Germany
Discussion Presented by Moshtari Hilal,
At Golem (Böll-Stiftung), Organized by Yesim Duman
"Kosmos Laboratory: Illustration and Visual Arts"
07.03.2017 Berlin, Germany
Artist Talk at Maxim-Gorki-Theater, hosted by Grada Kilomba
"Before the Increase of Signs"
23.02.2017 Hamburg, Germany
Reading with Senthuran Varatharajah at W3
Presented by Moshtari Hilal