Contemporary Art Iraq, United Kingdom 2010

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Photos: Mark Terry
From Fri 16 April to Sun 20 June 2010
Cornerhouse, Manchester

In collaboration ArtRole and Cornerhouse producing the first UK exhibition of contemporary art from Iraq.

From an open-call for submissions, Nineteen Iraqi based artists were selected from across the country. They exhibited new and recent work ranging from film and video, sound art, digital art, photography, graphic art, sculpture, painting and performance. The exhibition explored and challenged expectations of Iraq today and showcased a new generation of exciting artists. The exhibition showcased a selection of this work across all three of Cornerhouse’s galleries. 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5NH.
The accompanying Engagement Programme was an integral part of the exhibition and enabled audiences and professionals to explore the exhibition and its concerns in greater detail.

The first comprehensive UK exhibition of new and recent contemporary art from Iraq since the first Gulf War, examining practices that are emerging with fresh perspectives from a culture marked by conflict and turmoil.

This show provided a platform for a new generation of artists who acknowledge the aesthetics of conflict, but are not bound by them. Instead, they are fused with collapsing aforementioned associations and seek to broaden awareness of life beyond the brink of war, pointing toward other immediate concerns across the country.

Selecting works across a wide range of media by 19 Iraqi-based artists for Contemporary Art Iraq, Cornerhouse in collaboration with ArtRole, gave a subjective snapshot of the current Iraq art scene. From installation, performance, video, painting and photography, works presented deal with very individual searches for identity, whether national or historical, addressing tradition, beliefs and other themes that shed light on the fascinating state of Iraq now.

Co-curated by Cornerhouse and ArtRole

Works by:
Julie Adnan (Kirkuk), Bitwen Ali (Sulaymaniyah), Aryan Abubakr Ali (Sulaymaniyah), Salam Idwer Yaqoob Al-loos (Baghdad), Muhamed Almuttalbi (Wasit), Bhrhm Taib H. Ameen (Sulaymaniyah), Sawar Mohamad Amin (Sulaymaniyah), Gaylan Abdulla Ismahel (Erbil), Yadgar Abubakir Nassradin (Sulaymaniyah), Azar Othman Mahmud (Sulaymaniyah), Zana Rasul Mohammed (Sulaymaniyah), Natheer Muslim (Baghdad), Rohzgar Mahmood Mustafa (Sulaymaniyah), Mustafa Mumtaz Noori (Baghdad), Jamal Penjweny (Sulaymaniyah), Roshna Rasool (Sulaymaniyah), Muhammad Sale Rosramzada & Wrya Budaghi (Erbil), Hemn Hamed Sharef (Erbil).

Thanks to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, British Embassy, Iraq and Kurdish Regional Government – Ministries of Internal, Culture and Finance and Khak, Press & Media Centre in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The exhibition was supported by British Institute for the Study of Iraq (BISI), Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW), and City Inn, Manchester.