Pakistan, Madagascar and the other first-timers at the Venice Biennale
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Debuting alongside Ghana at the 58th Venice Biennale will be the Pakistan, Madagascar, Malaysia and Dominican Republic pavilions.
The focal point of Naiza Khan’s Pakistan pavilion, curated by Zahra Khan and presented by Foundation Art Divvy and The Pakistan National Council of the Arts, is the island of Manora, situated off the coast of Karachi. Khan explores collective memory, histories and narratives attached to places. For Manora Field Notes the artist will invite visitors on a socio-historical voyage through the changing power dynamics of the island and its cross-cultural composition.
Co-curated by Rina Ralay Ranaivo and Emmanuel Daydé, the Madagascar pavilion will present the work of Joël Andrianomearisoa in a show entitled I Have Forgotten the Night, an immersive installation exhibition with paper and sound. As a means of expressing the otherness of the night, Andrianomearisoa probes melancholy, colonial history, the colour black and “aesthetic emotion”.
While it has previously exhibited at the Biennale, the Dominican Republic has never had its own pavilion. This year, the Caribbean country will exhibit eight artists — Hulda Guzmán, Miguel Ramírez, Julio Valdez, Darío Oleaga and Ezequiel Taveras, Rita Bertrecchi, Nicola Pica, Marraffa & Casciotti — who will show figurative works centred on the themes of nature and biodiversity.
Malaysia’s first pavilion, curated by the gallerist Lim Wei-Ling, is to be housed at Palazzo Malipiero, adjacent to Palazzo Grassi. The group exhibition will include works by artists Anurendra Jegadeva, HH Lim, Ivan Lam and Zulkifli Yusoff, and will consider the diversity of Malaysian society — its opening coinciding with the anniversary of the 2018 general election.
Albeit not a first-timer, Saudi Arabia’s return to La Serenissima after an eight-year interval is one not to miss. The pavilion will show a solo exhibition of Jeddah-based artist Zahrah Al Ghamdi, whose practice uses organic materials such as earth, clay and rocks to explore notions of identity, memory and loss.
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