2019 Venice Biennale News

Serwan Baran Will Represent Iraq at the 2019 Venice Biennale

Serwan Baran.


With this year’s Venice Biennale fast approaching, the last of the national pavilion announcements are trickling in. The latest country to reveal details about its pavilion is Iraq, which has announced that it will be represented by artist Serwan Baran. Commissioned by the Ruya Foundation, the pavilion will be curated by Tamara Chalabi and Paolo Colombo, and will go on view on May 11.

For his pavilion, Baran, who is based in Beirut, will debut a new project called “Fatherland,” which will focus on conflict in Iraq and the surrounding region. Included in the exhibition will be a monumental acrylic painting, as well as a new sculpture and collages.

“Serwan Baran’s large-scale works are forceful denunciations of the horrors of war,” Colombo said in a statement. “They are meant to overwhelm the viewer, as one is overwhelmed in the proximity of a large film screen.”

The pavilion—the fourth in Iraq’s history at the biennial—marks the first time the country has gone with a single-artist presentation. At the 2017 Venice Biennale, the Iraqi Pavilion showcased ancient Iraqi artifacts, many of them previously looted, alongside works by contemporary artists from the country.

© 2019 ARTnews Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. ARTnews® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.