Sharjah Art Foundation celebrates 30th anniversary of Sharjah Biennial in February

Over 150 artists and collectives from more than 70 countries are coming together for this year’s event

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A Staff Reporter

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Various works, Sharjah Biennial 15 by (from left to right, top to bottom):Pipo Nguyen-Duy, Yinka Shonibare, Kahurangiariki Smith, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Archana Hande, Pak Khawateen Painting Club, Carolina Caycedo, Inuuteq Storch, Pushpakanthan Pakkiyarajah, Lavanya Mani, Amar Kanwar, Angela Ponce, Semsar Siahaan and Tahila Mintz. — Courtesy of the artists
Various works, Sharjah Biennial 15 by (from left to right, top to bottom):Pipo Nguyen-Duy, Yinka Shonibare, Kahurangiariki Smith, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Archana Hande, Pak Khawateen Painting Club, Carolina Caycedo, Inuuteq Storch, Pushpakanthan Pakkiyarajah, Lavanya Mani, Amar Kanwar, Angela Ponce, Semsar Siahaan and Tahila Mintz. — Courtesy of the artists

Published: Tue 31 Jan 2023, 7:15 PM

Conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor and curated by the Sharjah Art Foundation’s director Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present reflects on Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed contemporary art and has influenced the evolution of art institutions and biennials around the world.

In Sharjah Biennial’s 15th edition and 30th anniversary, local audiences and visitors from around the world can explore arts and culture as well as Sharjah’s rich history demonstrated through its towns and cities.


Over 150 participating artists and collectives

The foundation brings together over 150 artists and collectives from more than 70 countries for this year’s biennial. Expanding upon Enwezor’s initial proposal, Al Qasimi has collaborated with artists to embark on artworks that relate and respond to Sharjah Biennial’s overarching theme of centering the past within the present, thereby bridging diverse postcolonial histories.

More than 300 artworks with over 70 new works

Al Qasimi interprets and elaborates on Enwezor’s proposal with a presentation of more than 300 artworks—including over 70 new works—critically centring the past within contemporary times. These works, as well as a wide-ranging programme of performance, music, film and talks will be featured in the Sharjah Biennial 15.


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19 unique and historical venues

The 19 venues in 5 cities and towns across the emirate: Al Dhaid, Hamriyah, Kalba, Khorfakkan and Sharjah —from heritage buildings and historical landmarks to modern architecture of the late 1900s and contemporary spaces—connect different moments of Sharjah’s history as well as its diverse communities and landscapes.

Among the many venues are sites within Sharjah’s historical quarter; buildings recently restored and transformed by the Foundation including The Flying Saucer and Kalba Ice Factory; and repurposed structures that once served as a vegetable market, medical clinic and kindergarten.

Rooted in intimate and caring observations of everyday lives and vernacular traditions, performances, concerts, workshops and other public programmes will activate the venues as well as regional art centers located in each city, forming a capillary reach across the emirate throughout the four-month duration of the Biennial.

March Meeting 2023

Happening alongside with the Biennial, the Foundation hosts March Meeting, an annual convening of artists, curators, scholars and arts practitioners from around the world to discuss vital issues in contemporary art. With the theme this year, The Postcolonial Constellation: Art, Culture, Politics after 1960, March Meeting 2023 will explore the global political, social and economic systemic and structural shifts that characterized the world since the 1960s.

Admission is free and open to the public, Sharjah Biennial 15 will take place from February 7 through June 11. March Meeting 2023 will take place March 9 to 12.


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