Issam Kourbaj


Acclaimed Syrian artist Issam Kourbaj and poet Ruth Padel open the month long Alive in the Universe show at the Venice Biennale today with a work called Dark Water, Burning World.


Kourbaj’s installation in response to the ongoing Syrian tragedy is in several parts: a live performance Life On Hold, a moving-image performance Strike, and two artwork and Siege and Dark Water, Burning World - 98 boats made from recycled bicycle mudguards, packed with upright burnt matches. British poet Ruth Padel and Italian translator Paola Splendore will read, in English and Italian, Ruth’s poem for Dark Water Burning World, written in collaboration with Kourbaj, in response to her visit to Lesbos, September 2016. Kourbaj’s piece, with lines from Padel’s poem, was the final piece in the British Museum’s 2017 major exhibition Living with Gods.

Issam Kourbaj Alive in the Universe Venice Biennal Issam Kourbaj Alive in the Universe Venice Biennal