Interns selected to take part in the UAE’s exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale

calendar-iconTuesday, 28 February, 2017

28 February 2017, Abu Dhabi: The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) – la Biennale di Venezia has selected 21 interns from the UAE and 7 interns from Italy to participate in the 2017 edition of the Venice Biennale, which runs from May 13th to November 26th, 2017 (vernissage May 10th to 12th).

Each year, the National Pavilion UAE participates in the prestigious Venice Biennale with an exhibition exploring the arts or architectural practices of the UAE. With around 80 National Pavilions participating and over half a million visitors expected to the 2017 edition, the International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale is one of the world’s most significant cultural events. The National Pavilion UAE is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.

The National Pavilion UAE’s Venice Internship offers the opportunity for interns to gain hands-on experience staffing the UAE’s exhibition in Italy. The 2017 exhibition will be titled ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play’ and explore the theme of playfulness in artistic practice through the work of five artists: Nujoom Alghanem, Sara Al Haddad, Vikram Divecha, Lantian Xie and Dr. Mohamed Yousif.

Since its inaugural participation at the Venice Biennale in 2009, the National Pavilion UAE has worked with over 150 interns. Many former interns have gone on to pursue successful careers in the arts or architecture, including Sara Al Haddad, a Venice Internship alumna who has been selected to participate as an artist in the upcoming exhibition.

Laila Binbrek, Coordinating Director of the National Pavilion UAE, says: “Through the Venice Internship we are able to offer passionate young arts and architecture enthusiasts the opportunity to participate in this important moment, reflecting the National Pavilion UAE’s commitment to nurturing future generations of cultural professionals in the UAE. We’re delighted that Hammad Nasar, this year’s curator, has selected our former intern Sara Al Haddad as one of the artists to be included in this year’s exhibition; it’s a standout example of what we hope the Venice Internship can accomplish in its support for the UAE’s emerging creative practitioners.”

The Venice Internship offers training and opportunities for Emiratis and long-term residents of the UAE who have an interest in arts or architecture.

The chosen interns will undergo an educational program in partnership with notable cultural institutions in the UAE and in Venice, including workshops, lectures, exhibitions and studio visits led by the exhibition’s curator, artists and key figures in the industry. The program enables them to engage fluently with the content of the exhibition and to speak more broadly about the dynamic cultural scene of the UAE. The program continues in Venice where interns attend lectures and workshops and engage in assignments based on the city’s cultural institutions and the other exhibitions of the Biennale. Rotated on a monthly basis throughout the six months of the biennale, the different intern groups will spend one month in Venice, where they will get hands-on experience overseeing the daily operations of the UAE’s exhibition.

In addition, the National Pavilion UAE has an ongoing partnership with Venice’s prestigious Ca’ Foscari University, facilitating the inclusion of a select number of Italian interns to work alongside the UAE interns at the pavilion. This partnership aims to support cultural diversity and exchange, and allows the interns to experience a taste of Italian life during their stay.

2017 will mark the UAE’s fifth participation in the International Art Exhibition. Curated by Hammad Nasar, the exhibition will explore a strand of artistic practice in the UAE through the analogy of play, featuring existing works, re-fabrication of ‘lost’ works and new commissions. An accompanying publication and a series of collaborations with cultural institutions will serve as further sites of the exhibition, extending the dialogue around its themes.

The selected interns for 2017 from the UAE are: Rabeeya AbdulJabbar, Mariam Abu Ebeid, Leen Al Ali, Jumaanah Alhashemi, Bader AlKetbi, Zainab Alkhajeh, Mohammad Alkhazendar, Marwan Suhail Al-Mahri, Omran Al Mohamad, Abdulghani Al Nahawi, Taqwa Alnaqbi, Mohammed Alolama, Asem Askar, Layan Attari, Ibrahim Ibrahim, Neha Kalvani, Shailee Kothari, Hinjal Kumar, Amer Madhoun, Momen Moshtaha and Nada Waleed.