Venice Art Biennale 2019
Palazzo Mora
Venice, Italy
HOST European Cultural Centre

OPENING PERIOD 11 May - 24 November 2019

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azad karim

A Vessel of Insecurity, 2019
ceramic figures on the wooden base




Venice Art Biennale 2019

Azad Karim
Fragments of Reality

Installation title: A Vessel of Insecurity
Video title: A Story of Destruction
Text: Nives Marvin

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Link to Video



I was born in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq. For over forty years I have been living in the country which is not my native homeland. As an artist I draw inspiration from my ancient roots. Each of my art projects is a conglomerate of fragments, in which ancient civilisations meet with my personal experience of contemporary currents in visual art at a symbolic level.
In the past decade I have been especially stricken by horrible images related to conflicts in the countries of the Middle East. Ruins. Rivers of refugees, ships with refugees, seas of refugees… How could I remain indifferent seeing the atrocious suffering of millions of people?
On the other hand, the world bears witness of the barbaric destruction of cultural heritage. Numerous artefacts of ancient civilisations have fallen in the name of religious fanaticism. Their destruction has been carefully planned; agents of their destruction know exactly that each of the shards will affect all those who consider culture an important value.  
In the video I tried to relive the horrible moment when the work of my hands broke into small shards. My sculpture. This performance helped me process within myself all that humanity felt the moment Buddas of Bamiyan fell in Afghanistan. I relive the destruction of a museum in Baghdad, the looting of archaeological sites, the destruction of temples and all other barbaric deeds in the world which are aimed against culture. In the video I also present interviews with two people who are directly involved in the atrocious stories of the Middle East. A Kurdish artist Karani Jamil, who lives in Iraq and observes on the spot the painful events, speaks about hisexperiences.
The installation consists of a multitude of figures made of fire clay forming the shape of a vessel. A vessel of insecurity. A tribute to all the real ships with refugees who are sailing the dangerous seas of the world at this very moment.

Slovenian Anja Šmid, head of projects at a refugee camp in Iraq and a