Sharjah Art Foundation invites visitors for unique experiences

Two major exhibitions as as well as a permanent installation are being showcased this season

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Supplied photo

By Web Desk

Published: Fri 21 Jan 2022, 4:20 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Apr 2022, 3:02 PM

If you are looking to share a special experience with friends and family in Sharjah’s historic areas, Sharjah Art Foundation has two major exhibitions as well as the permanent installation Rain Room Sharjah (2012) that put viewers at the centre of the art.

A noteworthy exhibition that closes at the end of this month is The Other Side of Silence. This is the first mid-career survey of London-based Syrian-Armenian artist Hrair Sarkissian, who is considered one of the foremost conceptual photographers of our time.

The life-sized photographs, videos and installations in this exhibition take audiences on an expansive journey through the hallowed squares of Aleppo, Latakia and Damascus, across the skies above Palmyra and over the snow-covered post-industrial landscapes of modern day Armenia.

The Other Side of Silence also brings together two major new commissions by the artist and more than a dozen of his most significant bodies of work from the past 15 years.

Sarkissan has long worked with analogue photography, using a large-format camera to produce life-sized photographs — a medium that he noted enables the thrill and experience that 'chance' plays in capturing time in an age that is over-saturated with digital cameras and hyper-saturated image culture.

Sarkissian's The Other Side of Silence is organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, and the Bonnefanten, Maastricht. The exhibition is curated by Dr Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation; Dr Theodor Ringborg, Artistic Director, Bonniers Konsthall; and Stijn Huijts, Artistic Director, the Bonnefanten.

After its presentation at SAF, the exhibition travels to Bonniers Konsthall, where it will be on view from April 26 to June 19, then to the Bonnefanten Museum, where it will be on view from November 17 to May 14.

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Supplied photo

Another noteworthy exhibition on view through February 5 is The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis. This exhibition brings together a selection of key works by The Otolith Group, the London-based art collective consisting of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun.

The title of the exhibition references the African-American science fiction novelist Octavia Butler’s legendary Xenogenesis trilogy. Butler’s ideas inform Eshun and Sagar’s longstanding preoccupation with the promise and threat of the idea of ‘alien becoming’, or ‘becoming alien’.

The cross-section of works on view were produced by the collective between 2011 and 2018 and is the first large-scale institutional exhibition of the London-based collective in the region.

It reflects the artists’ ongoing commitment to creating what they call ‘a science fiction of the present’ through images, voices, sounds and performance.

The presentation of Xenogenesis in Sharjah is organised by Van Abbemuseum and Sharjah Art Foundation and co-curated by Annie Fletcher, Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Hoor Al Qasimi, Director, Sharjah Art Foundation. Original exhibition architecture was designed by Diogo Passarinho Studio.

The Sharjah Art Foundation also continues to delight viewers of all ages with Rain Room Sharjah (2012), which is open to visitors throughout the year.

Artist collective Random International’s immersive installation invites visitors to walk through a downpour of continuous rain without getting wet. The responsive environment follows visitors as they navigate the darkened space, preventing rain from falling on anyone.

Opened in May 2018, Rain Room is part of the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection and the first of a series of artist-designed permanent spaces.

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