Here Are the Arab Artists to See at the 2019 Venice Biennale

From Egypt to Iraq, these are the ones to watch

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The Venice Biennale preview opened yesterday for it’s 58th edition. Curated by Ralph Rugoff and entitled May You Live in Interesting Times, the central exhibition is due to open to the public on May 11, and this year’s roster is anything but short of Arab artists to keep on your radar.

Beirut-based Turner Prize nominee Lawrence Abu Hamdan is exhibiting his acclaimed 20-minute video performance piece Walled Unwalled, and joining him is Palestinian photographer Rula Halawani, and Paris-based Franco-Algerian video artist, Neil Beloufa. As for the 90 pavilions, which are spread across the city, the roster includes 79 artists hailing from across the globe. Saudi Arabia will be making a return to the prestigious event after eight years, along with Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and the UAE. These are the Arab artists to look out for.

Islam Abdullah, Ahmed Chiha, and Ahmed Abdel Karim
Curated by renowned Egyptian artist and collector Ahmed Chiha, Egypt’s pavilion is showcasing an exhibition entitled Khnum Across Times Witness, which will see his work displayed alongside emerging Cairo-based artists Ahmed Abdul Karim and Islam Abdullah.  

Venue: The Giardini.

Serwan BaranFor the first time, Iraq’s pavilion will be represented by a solo artist, Serwan Baran. Curated by Tamara Chalabi and Paolo Colombo, the Iraqi-Kurdish artist will present work surrounding the concepts of masculinity and Iraq’s political landscape in an exhibition entitled, Fatherland.

Venue: Ca’De Luca, Corte del Duca Sforza, San Marco

Zahrah Al GhamdiAfter an eight-year absence, Saudi Arabia has made its way back to Venice with Zahrah Al Ghamdi. Curated by Eimaan Al-Jabreen, the artist, known for her installations, will present work rooted in inspiration from her childhood in Saudi Arabia, titling it, After an Illusion.

Venue: Arsenale

Nujoom Alghanem                                                                                                                                                 As for the UAE, poet and filmmaker Nujoom Alghanem will present a video installation, entitled Passage. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the artist combines her visual practice with Arabic poetry.

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