Philippe Van Cauteren Will Curate Iraqi Pavilion at 2015 Venice Biennale

Philippe Van Cauteren
Photo via: Rees and Company

Philippe Van Cauteren has been announced as the curator of the National Pavilion of Iraq for the 56th Venice Biennale, which will open in May 9, 2015.

Van Cauteren—who is the artistic director of S.M.A.K. Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent, and was co-curator of the Belgian Pavilion in 2013—has been commissioned by Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture to “curate a pavilion that resonates with the rich scope of Iraqi identity extending beyond the country’s fragile borders.”

According to a press release from the organization, Van Cauteren is currently in conversation with a range of artists from various disciplines and will finalise his vision for the exhibition after a trip to Iraq.

“The Pavilion exhibition will constitute the beginning of a continued relationship with Ruya, working to enable a new generation of Iraqi artists to transcend their geography and prosper on a global scale,” Van Cauteren said.

“Philippe Van Cauteren is suitably positioned to explore Iraq’s complicated terrain, having worked in diverse international contexts,” said Tamara Chalabi, chairman of Ruya. “At this very critical juncture in Iraq’s existence, Ruya believes that the presence of a National Pavilion of Iraq at Venice will act as a crucial ambassador for the endurance of Iraqi contemporary culture.”

Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture is an Iraqi-registered not for profit, non-governmental organisation which was founded in 2012.

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