Working in installation, publishing, and video, Ala Younis uses archival found material in research-based projects that combine personal narratives with collective and national histories of the Middle East. Exploring the ideological associations of Iraq’s buildings and monuments, her Plan for Greater Baghdad (2015) was inspired by a set of 35 mm slides taken in 1982 by architect Rifat Chadirji, which depicts a Baghdad gym designed by Le Corbusier and named after Saddam Hussein. Younis presents the gym’s development in the form of two twenty-five-year timelines, revealing much about the history of Baghdad during a turbulent period. Younis has participated in the Iran Biennial: Art in the Contemporary Islamic World (2005), Asian Art Biennial, Dhaka (2006); New Museum Triennial, New York: The Ungovernables (2012); Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2012); and the Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures (2015). As a curator, she has organized several international exhibitions including the first Kuwaiti Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2013).
Kuwait City, 1974