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Philippe Van Cauteren Named Curator of Iraq's Pavilion at Venice Biennale

Philippe Van Cauteren has been named curator of the National Pavilion of Iraq for the 2015 Venice Biennale. Van Cauteren is currently artistic director of S.M.A.K. Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent. He cocurated the Belgian Pavilion in 2013 and, for this presentation, will focus on “curating a pavilion that resonates with the rich scope of Iraqi identity that extends beyond the country’s fragile borders,” as stated in a press release issued by the Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq. Said the chairperson of Ruya, Tamara Chalabi: “Philippe Van Cauteren is suitably positioned to explore Iraq’s complicated terrain, having worked in diverse international contexts, as well as further enlarging S.M.A.K.’s artistic focus. 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.”