Heba Y. Amin, The Master’s Tools I (restaging of Herman Soergel’s portrait), 2018, Archival b/w print, edition of 5 + 1AP, 86 x 110 cm.

Heba Y. Amin

The SFU School for the Contemporary Arts is pleased to welcome Heba Y. Amin as the SCA’s 2021 Spring Audain Visual Artist in Residence.

Heba Y. Amin’s practice is based on extensive artistic research which integrates film, photography, archival history and digital technology as well as performance and spatial installations. Challenging colonial narratives of conquest and control, she looks for tactics of subversion and other techniques to undermine consolidated systems and flip dominant historical narratives through a critical spatial practice. Her investigations address the convergence of politics, technology, and architecture, and take unexpected, often speculative, and sometimes satirical, approaches to these ideas.

In Amin’s current exhibition When I see the future, I close my eyes (curated by Anthony Downey at the Mosaic Rooms, London), she reflects upon the history of digital media, the post-digital future of surveillance technologies and emerging forms of digital authoritarianism. The exhibition is process based and is intended as a working tool for producing further original research on these topics, which will in turn modify the works on display. During her time as the artist in residence in the School for the Contemporary Arts, When I close my eyes will work as a model for her engagement with the students. In conjunction with SCA faculty member Sabine Bitter, Amin will work closely with third-year visual art students both towards conceptualizing their work for the BFA Project, and in articulating the annual student exhibition in the Audain Gallery as a site of research.

Heba Y. Amin is a Berlin-based multi-media artist from Egypt. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, co-curator for the biennial residency program DEFAULT with Ramdom Association, and a curator of visual art for the Mizna journal. With Maymanah Farhat, she curated History is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Amin teaches at Bard College Berlin, is a doctorate fellow in art history at Freie Universität, and a current Field of Vision fellow in New York. She currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital War.

Amin’s current solo exhibition, When I close my eyes, I see the future, at The Mosaic Room, London was accompanied by her publication, Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork, edited by Anthony Downey (Sternberg 2020). She has also shown at the Center for Persecuted Arts in Solingen,  the Böttcherstrasse Prize Exhibition, MAXXI Museum, Rome, 10th Berlin Biennale, 15th Istanbul Biennale, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Karachi Biennale KB17, 11th African Biennale Photography, 12th Dak’Art Biennale Kalmar, FACT Liverpool, Kunsthalle Wien, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the Kunstverein in Hamburg, the IV Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, and Camera Austria in Graz. Amin is also one of the artists behind the subversive graffiti action on the set of the television series Homeland which received worldwide media attention.

Presented by the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU in collaboration with SFU Galleries.

The Audain Visual Artist in Residence program brings artists and practitioners to Vancouver who have contributed significantly to the field of contemporary art and whose work resonates with local and international visual art discourses. The visiting artists interact with the students and faculty of the School for the Contemporary Arts as well as the broader visual arts and cultural communities and the community at large. In keeping with the experimental nature of the School for the Contemporary Arts, the terms of engagement are open and change from artist to artist. The program is generously funded by the Audain Foundation Endowment Fund.


Artist talk on Zoom
January 19, 2021 | 9:30 AM PST | Zoom | FREE

BFA Project 2021: Images that Take, Images that Give
March 17 – March 27, 2021
Audain Gallery
Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 5PM | BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Registration required

Heba Y. Amin, Sabine Bitter (with Helmut Weber), Debbie Chan, Sena Cleave, DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Research, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti), Aakansha Ghosh, Sofia Grace, Shinaaz K. Johal, Ritz Li, Daniel Lin, Quinn Lumsden, Sahar Rahmanian, Oliver Ressler, Ravneet Kaur Sidhu, Paige Smith, Xiaotong Sun (Shiny), Lil Waldegger, and Yunze Xie (David).


Images with agency: Towards a speculative glossary
In Conversation: Heba Y. Amin, Sabine Bitter, Anthony Downey, Laura U. Marks, and SFU visual art students
March 18, 2021 | 10:00 AM (PST) / 5:00 PM (GMT) | FREE | Zoom

Join SFU third-year visual art students, professor Sabine Bitter and resident artist Heba Y. Amin for a virtual tour through the exhibition Images that Take, Images that Give. Using a glossary of terms which describes the politics of imagery within frameworks such as archives, surveillance, technology, and perception, the exhibition probes the agency of images and investigates tactics and technologies that artists use to create, produce and circulate them.


Counter-Strategies: Digital Methodologies and Practice-Based Research
In Conversation: Heba Y. Amin, Sabine Bitter, Anthony Downey, Claudette Lauzon, Gillian Russell, and SFU visual art students
March 25, 2021 | 10:00 AM (PST) / 5:00 PM (GMT) | FREE | Zoom


How can we develop counter-strategies for image production and circulation in a post-digital age? This roundtable with Heba Y. Amin, Sabine Bitter, Anthony Downey, Claudette Lauzon, and Gillian Russell will discuss how research and artistic practices advance methodologies for thinking from within and through the digital image.