On October 18, the National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced writer and researcher Hammad Nasar as curator for their participation in the 2017 Venice Biennale. The UAE Pavilion has been commissioned by the Abu-Dhabi based Salama bint Hamdan al-Nahyan Foundation since 2013, and is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
The 57th Venice Biennale will mark the UAE’s fifth participation at the international event. Following the success of their 2015 presentation, a retrospective of 15 Emirati artists titled 1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, Nasar has expressed his intent to focus on fostering dialogue between contemporary artists in the region. Nasar, who is currently the Head of Research and Programs at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, aims to survey the key characteristics of Emirati artists, in particular works derived from the gestural practice of experimentation.