Spotlight

 

Statement for Solidarity Against the Violence in Iraq

In solidarity with the popular youth uprisings that have erupted in Iraq against state corruption and deteriorating economic and living conditions, Ruya Foundation calls for a strike of cultural institutions in Iraq. We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesting, and the bloodshed that has lead to the death of over 265 protestors so…

Themes of Fatherland #4: Nature

In ‘Fatherland,’ the Iraq Pavilion exhibition at the Venice Biennale, the artist Serwan Baran explores the nature of war, patriarchy and militarism, based on his own experiences as a soldier in the Iraqi army in the1990s. Yet decades of ongoing war, Baran says, has also impacted Iraq’s nature and ecology. “Baghdad was once a green…

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…

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

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,…

Themes of Fatherland #1: The Witness

In a recent interview, the Iraqi-Kurdish Serwan Baran said of his new exhibition for the Iraq Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale: “I want viewers to be witnesses to the crime, to understand what it means to have lived a lifetime of conflict.” The artist’s new commission for the exhibition The Last Meal (2019) depicts…

Updates

Essay 

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,…
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…
Essay 

Themes of Fatherland #1: The Witness

In a recent interview, the Iraqi-Kurdish Serwan Baran said of his new exhibition for the Iraq Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale: “I want viewers to be witnesses to the crime, to understand what it means to have lived a lifetime of conflict.” The artist’s new commission for the exhibition The Last Meal (2019) depicts…
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…