Spotlight

 

Themes of Fatherland #3: The War Artist

The Iraq Pavilion artist Serwan Baran fought as a soldier during the Iran-Iraq war, and served as a war artist in the first Gulf War. But he dismisses his art work from that period as state-sanctioned propaganda. “We painted in a realistic style but the paintings had nothing to do with the reality that we…

Themes of Fatherland #2: The Boat

Serwan Baran’s The Last General (2019), a new commission unveiled at the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, depicts the corpse of an army general floating on a reed boat. As visitors enter the Pavilion’s first room they stumble on the clay and resin sculpture. The general’s body appears rested, but his head drops backwards,…

Projects

Ruya Shop: A Contemporary Art Space and Library in Baghdad

The Ruya Foundation has opened a contemporary art library and projection space in Baghdad. The Ruya Shop is located on Mutanabbi Street, which is known for its weekly book market selling used and rare books. Every week, during the book market’s opening hours, the Ruya Shop will project a selection of video and photography by…

Ruya Notebooks

Ruya Notebooks is a new educational publishing initiative. For each Notebook a well known artist, curator or critic will select texts that they have identified as fundamental to their creative development. These texts are then translated into Arabic, in most cases for the first time, and the resultant Notebook distributed for free to artistic communities in Iraq and…

Journal

Imperial Race: A New Board Game About Iraq’s Ancient Heritage

A couple of months ago, the annual Global Grad Show in Dubai showcased innovative student-led projects from design and technology schools across the world. The Amman-based Iraqi designer and artist Durrah Alomar, a recent graduate of the German Jordanian University, presented Imperial Race, a new board game that teaches players about Iraq’s ancient heritage. Alomar…

Updates

News 

Book launch: Fatherland, the Iraq Pavilion Catalogue

The Ruya Foundation has launched Fatherland, the catalogue for the Iraq Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. The new publication includes an essay on the artist Serwan Baran by the art historian Natasha Gasparian and illustrations of Baran’s new commissions and preliminary sketches for the exhibition. As part of his research for the Fatherland exhibition, Baran collected…
Event 

Ruya Shop: Akam Shex Hadi’s ‘Travels in Assyria’

The Ruya Shop presents new video work by the photographer and filmmaker Akam Shex Hadi. Travels in Assyria (2018) traces the aftermath of the recent war in Mosul, while drawing on Iraq’s ancient and colonial history. The film brings together two different scenes of a school play at the Assyrian rooms of the the Louvre…
Event 

Ruya Shop: Oliver Beer’s ‘REanimation’

For ‘Reanimation’ British artist Oliver Beer (b. 1985) presents two video works, both based on well known scenes from Disney films and produced by Beer in collaboration with school children in France and Britain. Reanimation [Alice Falling] (2016) reconstructs a scene from Alice in Wonderland (1951) in which Alice falls into a rabbit hole and…