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  Iraq's experimental contemporary artists have never had a chance to present their work for an Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; the first and last major appearance in 1976 outlined only some of their "modern" artists. The Iraq Pavilion for 2011 will indeed show the world an exciting professionally-curated selection of 6 Iraqi artists from two generations, including various artistic media (painting, performance, video, photography, sculpture/installation). Ali Assaf, Commissioner for the Pavilion of Iraq 2011

Acqua Ferita / Wounded Water Six Iraqi Artists interpret the theme of water Site: Gervasuti Foundation, Fondamenta S. Ana (Via Garibaldi) Castello 995, between Giardini and Arsenale Opening to the Public: June 4, 2011. Closes Nov. 27, 2011 10-6 pm daily except Mondays Press Preview: June 2, 2011 7 to 9 pm Commissioner: Ali Assaf Co-Commissioner: Vittorio Urbani Curator: Mary Angela Schroth Organization: Nuova Icona and Sala 1 Media Partner: Canvas Magazine In collaboration with: Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Italy, Iraq UN Representation in Rome, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, corporate and individual patrons and the Iraq Pavilion Patrons Committee. These are extraordinary times for Iraq. The project to create an official country Pavilion for the 54. Biennale di Venezia is a multiple and participatory work in progress since 2004. It is historically coming at a period of great renewal after more than 30 years of war and conflict in that country. The Pavilion of Iraq will feature six internationally-known contemporary Iraqi artists who are emblematic in their individual experimental artistic research, a result of both living inside and outside their country. These artists, studying Fine Arts in Baghdad, completed their arts studies in Europe and USA. They represent two generations: one, born in the early 1950’s, has experienced both the political instability and the cultural richness of that period in Iraq. Ali Assaf, Azad Nanakeli and Walid Siti came of age in the 1970’s during the period of the creation of political socialism that marked their background. The second generation, to include Adel Abidin, Ahmed Alsoudani and Halim Al Karim, grew up during the drama of the Iran-Iraq war (19801988), the invasion of Kuwait, overwhelming UN economic sanctions and subsequent artistic isolation. This generation of artists exited the country before the 2003 invasion, finding refuge in Europe and USA by sheer fortune coupled with the artistic virtue of their work. All six artists thus have identities indubitably forged with contemporary artistic practice that unites the global situation with the Iraqi experience and they represent a sophisticated and experimental approach that is completely international in scope. The six artists will execute works on site that are inspired by both the Gervasuti Foundation space and the thematic choice of water. This is a timely interpretation since the lack of water is a primary source of emergency in Iraq, more than civil war and terrorism. A documentary by Oday Rasheed curated by Rijin Sahakian will feature artists living and working in Iraq today. The Pavilion of Iraq has been produced thanks to Shwan I. Taha and Reem Shather-Kubba/Patrons Committee, corporate and individual contributors, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq and generous grants from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Hussain Ali Al-Hariri, and Nemir & Nada Kirdar. Honorary Patron is the architect Zaha Hadid. For info: www.pavilionofiraq.org +39 067008691 +39 3392397762 (Sala 1)

+39 335320548 (Nuova Icona)


Pavilion of Iraq 2011 Press Release ENG