The third Kuwaiti Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, entitled ‘Between East and West: A Gulf’, will "look past Kuwait’s borders to the contested hydrography of the Persian/Arabian Gulf" in order to propose a new masterplan for the region. Curated by Hamed Bukhamseen from Kuwait and Ali Karimi from Bahrain the pavilion will, in an area of physical, religious, and political division, "tell the story of the Gulf’s islands and the possibilities they hold for a joint territorial project."
The pavilion, which will be located in the Arsenale, is set to feature a catalog of over three hundred islands in the Gulf, elaborating on their history and character, alongside proposals—from both young and established architecture practices in the region—for how a masterplan could be implemented across these contested waters. The exhibition will feature contributions from AGi Architects, the Behemoth Press with Matteo Mannini Architects, Design Earth, ESAS Architects, X-Architects, PAD10, and Fortuné Penniman in collaboration with Studio Bound
According to the curators: "The third in a series of architecture pavilions which explores the national in Kuwait, this chapter considers the country’s role in the region as part of a larger conversation towards peace and cooperation. An unprecedented initiative for a national participation from the Gulf, the subject of this year’s exhibition was chosen by the NCCAL for its aim to initiate a conversation amongst the countries that border this body of water, and to imagine a collective project to unify the region."
The exhibition has been commissioned by Zahra Ali Baba of the Kuwait NCCAL (National Council for Culture Arts and Letters) and will be accompanied by a research publication both in English and in Arabic which will be made available within the exhibition space on the opening date.