Venice Biennale

Shows from Iran, Pakistan and Peckham shake up the usual favorites

Ex-Tate Modern curator Jemima Montagu took on the so-called “axis of evil” to put together East-West Divan, a Biennale show featuring artists from Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. “I don’t think many curators have had to take out war and terrorism insurance cover,” Montagu said. Meanwhile, peewee pavilions like that of Peckham, a small, urban neighborhood of London known for stabbings, feature works from artists just shy of world renown. Despite having found most of her 20 artists squatting in a run-down house, curator Hanna Barry of the Peckham Pavilion is determined to find out whether her artists’ work will “stand the test of time” in Venice.