Tarek Al Ghoussein | Kuwait Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2013
National Pavilion of Kuwait at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia (First official participation) | Biennale: June 1 - November 24 | Opening reception: May 30, 6PM
Title of the exhibition: National Works, Exhibitors: Sami Mohammad, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Commissioner: Mohammed Al-Asoussi (National Council of Culture, Arts, and Letters), Curator: Ala Younis, Venue: Palazzo Michiel dal Brusà, Cannaregio 4391/A / Strada Nova
The National Council of Culture, Arts, and Letters presents Kuwait’s first Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia. Under the general theme of “The Encyclopedic Palace”, proposed by Massimiliano Gioni director of this edition, the exhibition National Works explores two major works by sculptor Sami Mohammad (b. 1943) along with a new photographic production by Tarek Al-Ghoussein (b. 1962). Curated by Ala Younis, National Works disassembles symbols of grandeur in paused/post glorious times, in an attempt to re-interpret Kuwait’s modernization project.
For this exhibition, Tarek Al-Ghoussein tracks encounters with grandness in sites significant to Kuwait's history. This chapter of his K Files, a work in-progress, marks returns to sites of proportion and vastness, with an attempt to consider an individual position within a national body.
The exhibition's publication explores the emotional and theoretical contexts of works at a time when national identity was not questioned, and when modernist projects, cultural or contractual, were national works.