The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

3/31/11

Mideast unrest forces out Lebanon and Bahrain pavilions, Egypt in question - News detail - Flash Art

Mideast unrest forces out Lebanon and Bahrain pavilions, Egypt in question - News detail - Flash Art\
Venice
Mideast unrest forces out Lebanon and Bahrain pavilions, Egypt in question

Bahrain was to make its first appearance in Venice this year. But it has canceled plans to be at the biennale. Following numerous uprisings in the region, an ensuing government crackdown in the island nation off the coast of Saudi Arabia has forced organizers to withdraw. Art Info is reporting this is particularly unfortunate given their well-received debut at the Venice Architecture Biennale, which included the Golden Lion award for best pavilion.

Though they have not participated since 2007, the Lebanese roster was chalked full of talent this year. The ten artists were to be Annabel Daou, Etel Adnan, Marya Kazoun, Cornelia Krafft, Ricardo Mbarkho, Samer Mohdad, Jacko Restikian, Shawki Youssef, Camille Zakharia, and CPS (Chamber of Public Secrets). This cancelation follows the January dissolution of the country's coalition government.

And, as Art Info also reports, Egypt remains a question mark as well. Even after it was announced Egypt would not be there, plans are being made to have Ahmed Bassiouny represent the country after he died during the January uprising. Bassiouny is considered "one of many martyrs of the Egyptian revolution" and may figure as an especially charged national representative if the ministry of culture can organize the pavilion in time.

Iraq will be at the biennale for the first since 1976. Curator May Angela Schroth, originally from Virginia, who began Rome's first non-profit art space, Sala 1, is organizing the Iraq pavilion.

Memorial for Ahmed Bassiouny