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Pavilion of Iraq at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
The Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Art in Iraq (RUYA), commissioners of the official Iraq Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, are pleased to announce Curator Jonathan Watkins will present Welcome of Iraq, a group exhibition of works by contemporary Iraqi artists from June to November 2013 at the Palazzo Dandolo, Grand Canal, Venice.

The artists presented are all Iraqi artists resident in Iraq. Working across a wide range of media, including photography, drawing, painting, video, installation, sculpture, and textiles, they represent two generations of artists from across the country. Jonathan Watkins and Tamara Chalabi, Chairman of RUYA, worked with researchers and experts from within the country to find artists. They hosted educational events for groups of over 100 artists and visited studios in Baghdad, the province of Babylon, Basra and Kurdistan in Northern Iraq.

Decades of repression, censorship and conflict have limited Iraq’s culture, but art is now re-emerging from within the country despite the difficulties artists face. There is an incredible diversity amongst artists now practicing in Iraq and this exhibition aims to give insight into this embryonic art scene by taking a small but significant step towards free cultural exchange between Iraq and the rest of the world.

The exhibition will be held at Palazzo Dandolo, a 16th century building that has not been used as a pavilion before during a Venice Biennale. The exhibition will insinuate Iraq into this first floor apartment, creating a salon atmosphere and interactive space where visitors can sit, read and learn about Iraqi culture and drink tea. The domestic atmosphere of the Palazzo will be retained to a large extent through the use of existing furniture and minimal imposition on current architectural features.

Explaining his curatorial approach, Jonathan Watkins says, “Artistic emphasis will be on the nature of everyday life as it is now lived in Iraq, exemplifying a determination ‘to make do and get by,’ an inventiveness borne out of necessity in extraordinary historical circumstances.’’

RUYA founding members Reem Kubba and Shwan Taha who headed the Patrons Committee for the last Iraq Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale will continue their involvement. A catalogue will be published to coincide with the opening of this exhibition.

Ruya Foundation
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The aim of Ruya is to support culture in Iraq, and build cultural bridges with the world.




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Venice Biennale 2013
About Us
Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq (RUYA) is an Iraqi registered non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 2012 by Iraq art and culture enthusiasts with the aim of aiding and enriching culture in Iraq, and building cultural bridges with the world.

RUYA was officially registered by the Iraq Commission for Civil Society Enterprises (reg no. 1B75468). It has a charter that was approved by the relevant authorities, a board of directors and a board of advisors.
Mission
The foundation’s initial goal is to promote culture in Iraq at a time when priorities are focused elsewhere, and to build a platform that will enable Iraqis in the arts, the young in particular, to benefit from, and participate in international events. In addition to supporting local projects, its aim is to create a network of intercultural events that can contribute to the development of civil society in Iraq. It is also committed to nurturing a multicultural dialogue through the arts.
Projects
Ruya is the official commissioner of the Iraqi National Pavilion at the 55 La Biennale di Venezia 2013. For more information please check: www.theiraqpavilion.com.
Other projects include “Baghdad Night”, a short animation film noir produced by Baghdad based Furat al-Jamil
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Pavilion of Iraq at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
The Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Art in Iraq (RUYA), commissioners of the official Iraq Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, are pleased to announce Curator Jonathan Watkins will present Welcome of Iraq, a group exhibition of works by contemporary Iraqi artists from June to November 2013 at the Palazzo Dandolo, Grand Canal, Venice.
Support Us
As we are a Not for Profit organization, we survive on donations. If you would like to support us, please contact Reem, rsk@ruyafoundation.org
Contact Us
Headquarters: House No. 27, Street No. 4, District 609, A-Mansour, Baghdad, Iraq

Postal Address: Halaskargazi Cad. No. 103/7A, 34380 Osmanbey, Istanbul, Turkey

Tel: +964 781 230 6547
info@ruyafoundation.org
© All Rights Reserved 2013 - Ruya Foundation.
Images have been provided courtesy of Ayman al-Amiri, Jamal Penjweny, Furat al-Jamil, and RUYA ©.
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