The Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq (Ruya) presents Invisible Beauty. The exhibition at Iraq Pavilion will feature five contemporary artists from across Iraq and the diaspora: photographers Latif Al Ani and Akam Shex Hadi, visual artist Rabab Ghazoul, ceramicist and sculptor Salam Atta Sabri and painter Haider Jabbar. The artists will present new works that have been produced specifically for the exhibition as well as works that have been rediscovered after long periods of inattention. Invisible Beauty will be accompanied by a display of over 500 drawings made by refugees in northern Iraq. World renowned artist Ai Weiwei has selected a number of these drawings for a major publication TRACES OF SURVIVAL: Drawings by Refugees in Iraq that will launch at the 56th International Art Exhibition.
Invisible Beauty refers both to the unusual or unexpected subjects in the works that will be on display and to the inevitable invisibility of Iraqi artists on the international stage. The relationship of art to survival, record-keeping, therapy and beauty are amongst the many themes raised by the exhibition. The endlessly interpretable title is intended to reveal the many different ways of approaching art generated by a country that has been subjected to war, genocide, violations of human rights and, in the last year, the rise of Isis. The systematic demolition of the cultural heritage of Iraq by Isis, seen recently in the destruction of centuries-old historical sites at Hatra, Nimrud and Nineveh and the events at the Mosul Museum, has made it more important than ever to focus on artists continuing to work in Iraq.
‘Invisible Beauty is like a fragile membrane that registers the oscillations of an artistic practice permeated by the current condition of the country and the state of the arts.’ Curator Philippe Van Cauteren.
Ca’ Dandolo, San Polo 2879
Artists: Latif Al Ani, Akam Shex Hadi, Rabab Ghazoul, Salam Atta Sabri, Haider Jabbar
Curator: Philippe Van Cauteren
Akam Shex Hadi, Untitled, 2014-15. Courtesy the artist