Ark Re-imagined: the Expeditionary Pavilion
'Ark Re-imagined: the Expeditionary Pavilion' – the first-ever Iraqi national participation at the Biennale Architettura in Venice – is a project by artist Rashad Salim, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities of Iraq, curated by Safina Projects, and produced by Community Jameel and CULTURUNNERS as piloti del padiglione. The pavilion is hosted at Ocean Space with TBA21–Academy and supported by the Iraq Cultural Health Fund and ALIPH Foundation.
The project celebrates the vernacular architecture, watercraft, and ecology of the Tigris-Euphrates river system. Rashad Salim’s expeditionary art practice engages artisans and interdisciplinary co-researchers to explore traditional making practices – on the brink of extinction after decades of conflict, climate change and most recently COVID-19 – developing the role of this heritage as a source of knowledge, healing, inspiration, collaboration, and direct engagement with the land and waters – including now those of Venice.
Project research and programme content are supported by (among others) Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Makiya-Kufa Charity, the British Council and Npavilion programme is being developed in conversation with the Healing Arts initiative, launched in partnership with the WHO Foundation under the auspices of the World Health Organisation, as part of the United Nations 75th Anniversary Programme (UN75).