Ca’ Dandolo, Grand Canal, Venice
Ikon’s Director, Jonathan Watkins, has been appointed as curator of the Iraq Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Following studio visits across Iraq, Watkins has selected eleven contemporary artists to participate in the exhibition, all of whom live and work in the country. The pavilion, Welcome to Iraq, includes work by cartoonist Abdul Raheem Yassir who uses deadpan humour to address social and political chaos and corruption; Jamal Penjweny, from Sulaymaniyah, who shows a series of photographs entitled Saddam is Here featuring Iraqis in everyday places holding a portrait of the former dictator over their own faces; and Cheeman Ismaeel, one of two female artists selected, who personalises household objects through ornate decoration. Welcome to Iraq was commissioned by the Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq (RUYA). www.theiraqpavilion.com/blog
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