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RUYA is the commissioner of the Iraq Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale in May 2015. Philippe Van Cauteren, artistic director of S.M.A.K. Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent has been appointed by RUYA to curate a pavilion that resonates with the rich scope of Iraqi identity extending beyond the country’s fragile borders. Van Cauteren is currently in conversation with a range of artists from various disciplines and he will finalise his vision for the exhibition after a trip to Iraq, organised and facilitated by RUYA. In 2013, RUYA commissioned Welcome to Iraq, the Iraq Pavilion for the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, a widely acclaimed exhibition which was the first to show the work of 11 artists living within Iraq and Kurdistan at an international art fair.

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Curating the Iraq Pavilion: Q&A with Philippe Van Cauteren

In November 2014, Philippe Van Cauteren, curator of the Iraq Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, travelled to Baghdad with RUYA’s chairman Tamara Chalabi. There, they met artists in their studios, and visited the city’s cultural institutions and galleries. As well as mentoring the artists, RUYA hosted a day long symposium on international contemporary art…

RUYA holds symposium in Baghdad on contemporary art.

RUYA hosted a day long symposium on contemporary art in Baghdad last week, open to artists and intellectuals from across the country. Curator Philippe Van Cauteren, who RUYA brought to Baghdad to meet artists and visit the city’s cultural institutions, gave a presentation on the current international state of contemporary art. ‘We took advantage of…

Curating the Pavilion: Philippe Van Cauteren’s trip to Baghdad

Well, here I am in my office in Baghdad making final arrangements for the visit of Belgian curator Philippe van Cauteren in preparation for the Iraq Pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia 56. At 18:36, I heard a car bomb about half a mile from my office. This is very common for us in Baghdad,…