Winging to view
Muhammad Yusuf has the details on the upcoming Sharjah Biennial
The 14th edition of Sharjah Biennial (Mar. 7 – June 10, 2019) hosted by the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) titled ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’, will explore the possibilities and purpose of producing art when news is fed by a monopoly of sources, increasingly iCtIonAlIsED HIstory wHEn IDEAs of society are displaced and when borders and beliefs are dictated by cultural, social and political systems.
SB14 will feature nearly 90 established and emerging artists from around the world, over 60 new commissions as well as many never-before-seen works.
Curators Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons who have collaboratively conceived the SB14 theme, will present three exhibitions bringing together a range of experiences and works — including major commissions, large-scale public installations, pErFormAnCEs AnD ilm — to CrEAtE a concept about how one might re-negotiate the shape, form and function of the ‘echo chamber’ of contemporary life.
Such echoes are representative of the wide forms of human production — its rituals, beliefs and customs. Butt, Kholeif, and Tancons will also spearhead three approaches via programmes for SAF’s March Meeting - an annual convening of local and international artists, curators, scholars and other arts practitioners.
They will explore topical issues in contemporary art through talks and performances. March Meeting 2019 will coincide with the opening of SB14. Full programme details and participants will be announced in 2019.
“Contemporarylifeisdominated by competing information and luCtuAtInG HIstorIEs — A rEAlIty tHAt raises important questions about the trajectory of contemporary art, as well as the conditions in which it is made”, said Hoor Al Qasimi, SAF President and Director. “Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, and Claire Tancons bring incredibly different perspectives to these questions, and together represent the complexity of challenges faced by today’s artists and society as a whole.
“The aim of the Biennial is to deepen the context of these questions through thoughtprovoking and often experiential works of art, and the March Meeting will complement and provide opportunities to explore these works and the Biennial theme more deeply”.
On view in buildings and courtyards across the city’s arts and heritage areas as well as in SAF’s studios in Al Hamriyah, in the East Coast city of Kalba and other spaces in Sharjah, ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’ will explore subjects ranging from migration and diaspora, to concepts of time and interpreted histories – giving artists the agency to explore stories that echo in a different way, revealing differing means of connecting, surviving and sustaining a collective humanity.
‘Journey Beyond the Arrow’ curated by Butt aspires to provide deeper context to the movement of humanity and the tools that have enabled or hindered its survival.
From spiritual ritual to cultural custom, technological process to political rule of law, these practices possess particular features and actions that aid or abet mobility. In this exhibition, artists reveal the generational impact of a range of physical and psychological ‘tools’, and how the representations and meanings of these tools have shifted as a consequence of colonial ExploIt, soCIAl AnD rElIGIous ConlICt or ideological extremism. Thus ‘Journey’ seeks to illuminate the necessity of exchange and diversity across the globe and throughout human history.
The exhibition will feature new commissions by Khadim Ali, Kawayan de Guia, Carlos Garaicoa, Meiro Koizumi, Jompet Kuswidananto, Neo Muyanga, Tu n AnDrEw NGuy n, PHAn TH o NGuyên, Ho Tzu NyEn, Lisa Reihana, Ampannee Satoh, Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan, Kidlat Tahimik and Qiu Zhijie, as well as works by Antariksa, Shiraz Bayjoo, Adriana Bustos, Rohini Devasher, GUDSKUL, LéulI EsHrăGHI, AnAwAnA HAloBA, Roslisham Ismail (Ise), Nalini Malani, Lee Mingwei, Ahmad Fuad Osman, Mark Salvatus, Xu Zhen, Lantian Xie and 31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit.
‘Making New Time’ curated by Kholeif responds to the overall theme of ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’. It is a probe on how material culture can be re-imagined through the lens of a group of artists whose political agency, activism and astute observations encourage us to extend beyond the limits of belief.
The exhibition considers how economies have formed around technological culture, how narrative is created and deconstructed, and how these forces enable a reconstitution or a restitution of a history lost or unknown.
The exhibition will feature new commissions by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sophia Al-Maria, Cory Arcangel, Marwa Arsanios, Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck, Candice Breitz, Ian Cheng, Shezad Dawood, Stan Douglas, Alfredo Jaar, Ann Veronica Janssens, Otobong Nkanga with Emeka Ogboh, Bruno Pacheco, Heather Phillipson, Jon Rafman, Pamela Rosenkranz, Hrair Sarkissian, Amie Siegel, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Munem Wasif and Akram Zaatari, as well as works by Semiha Berksoy, Huguette Caland, Lubaina Himid, Barbara Kasten, Astrid Klein, Marwan, Michael Rakowitz and Anwar Jelal Shemza.
‘Look for Me All Around You’ curated by Tancons is an open platform of migrant images and fugitive. It straddles the lines of the cosmo-ecological, techno-sensorial and museo-imaginal in response to human and material displacement and digitalisation.
It comprises new commissions, with more artists to be announced later. Featured artists include Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Caline Aoun, Leo Asemota, Aline Baiana, Hannah Black, Mohamed Bourouissa, Jace Clayton, Christopher Cozier, Annie Dorsen, Torkwase Dyson, Alaa Edris, Alia Farid, Peter Friedl, Meschac Gaba, Nikolaus Gansterer, Eisa Jocson, Isabel Lewis, Daniel Lie, Laura Lima, Ulrik López, Carlos Martiel, Suchitra Mattai, Mohau Modisakeng, New Orleans Airlift, Tracey Rose, Wael Shawky, Caecilia Tripp and Wu Tsang.
Kawayan de Guia