Before dedicating herself to an artistic practice, Amina Agueznay worked as a full-time architect while also learning the craft of jewellery design. Asserting that everybody has ‘a connection to handicraft and handmade things’, her work allowed her to engage deeply with her native Morocco, even while studying or working elsewhere. Agueznay often explores her country’s immaterial cultural heritage, directing numerous workshops with weavers, carpenters, leatherworkers, basket weavers, and masters of other handicrafts. Her artistic projects are joint undertakings with teams of craftspeople, working together from conception to realization. The works often play with size, volume, and materiality, incorporating influences that oscillate between the fields of architecture and jewellery design, respectively. For her site-specific commission as part of O Quilombismo, Agueznay transforms several columns in the foyer into an oasis of respite and sociality, covering six of them in a special material woven from wool yarn spun on metal wire. The airy work also has the quality of a fungus growing from a tree trunk, breaking the symmetry of the modernist lines that otherwise define the space. The henna with which the wool is dyed is a key element with a rich history as a pigment that also has protective and auspicious qualities—a propitious start for this opening exhibition and the new direction of HKW.

Commissioned by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), co-produced by Amina Agueznay and HKW, 2023.

Work in the exhibition: Assetta #2 (2023), natural undyed and naturally dyed wool yarn, metal wire, cotton thread, glue, dimensions vary. Courtesy of the artist