Sharjah Biennial announces opening programme and participating artists

Sharjah Biennial 12 features a rich programme with 55 artists from over 25 countries.

The twelfth edition of the influential Middle Eastern biennial has announced its opening schedule from 5 to 7 March 2015, as well as the full list of its 2015 participating artists hailing from all corners of the world and presenting old and new works.

From left to right, clockwise: 1. Kalba Ice Factory, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Kalba, Sharjah, UAE; 2. Khalid Port Warehouse, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Sharjah, UAE; 3. Al Hamdan Bin Mousa Square, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Sharjah, UAE; 4. The Flying Saucer, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Sharjah, UAE. Image courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation.

From left to right, clockwise: 1. Kalba Ice Factory, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Kalba, Sharjah, UAE; 2. Khalid Port Warehouse, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Sharjah, UAE; 3. Al Hamdan Bin Mousa Square, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Sharjah, UAE; 4. The Flying Saucer, Sharjah Biennial 12 site, Sharjah, UAE. Image courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation.

Sharjah Biennial 12 (SB12), which will take place from 5 March to 5 June 2015, announced on 29 January 2015 its opening schedule (5 – 7 March) and its full list of participating artists, comprising 55 art practitioners from over 25 countries.

SB12, entitled “The past, the present, the possible”, is curated by American curator Eungie Joo, with Associate Curator Ryan Inouye. Joo was previously Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at the New Museum from 2007 to 2012, curator of the 2012 New Museum Triennial “The Ungovernables”, Founding Director and Curator of the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles, and commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.

The premise for SB12 stemmed from a conversation between Vietnamese artist Danh Vo – who will participate in SB12 ­– and curator Eungie Joo in early 2013, about

the relevance of contemporary art and the potential of artistic positions to imagine something beyond current states of social and political confinement.

The participating artists were invited to the Biennial to contribute to Sharjah’s process of imagining itself through education, culture, religion, heritage and science by presenting and introducing their “ideas of the possible” through their art.

SB12 production test with artist Cinthia Marcelle. Image courtesy the artist and Sharjah Art Foundation.

SB12 production test with artist Cinthia Marcelle. Image courtesy the artist and Sharjah Art Foundation.

Selected artists in SB12

The Sharjah Biennial has commissioned, produced and presented large-scale public installations, performances and films since 1993, creating an internationally recognised platform for exchange between artists from the region and beyond.

The 55 artists and cultural practitioners participating in SB12 hail from 25 countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. More than two thirds of them are presenting new or commissioned works for this year’s Biennial.

Among some of the most notable artists from Africa, the Middle East and Asia contributing new works are:

Local youth assist artist Eduardo Navarro with research for his SB12 project. Image courtesy the artist and Sharjah Art Foundation.

Local youth assist artist Eduardo Navarro with research for his SB12 project. Image courtesy the artist and Sharjah Art Foundation.

Highlights from SB12 opening schedule

SB12 features a rich programme of events taking place in Sharjah and crossing the emirate to reach sites in and around the city, as well as in the city of Kalba on the Gulf of Oman. The opening days, from 5 to 7 March 2015, feature performances, film screenings and special visits, in addition to the usual official opening in the presence of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi at Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) Art Space.

Among the highlights of the opening schedule are an action entitled XYZ by Argentinian artist Eduardo Navarro at Al Hamdan Bin Mousa Square, and Use Like Water, a performance by acclaimed Indian performance artist Nikhil Chopra at Bait Obaid Al Shamsi.

French composer, drummer and electro-acoustic musician Uriel Barthélémi will present a performance entitled Souls’ Landscapes: Violence, Magical Superstructures & Invisible Guardians at Mirage City Cinema, SAF Art Spaces.

Congolese dancer Papy Ebotani’s performance Fanfare Funérailles (Funeral Brass) will take place from Arts Square to Calligraphy Square, while his dancer and choreographer fellow practitioner Faustin Linyekula’s performance Le Cargo will be on at the Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts.

A special excursion is organised to view the installations by young Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas and Egyptian artist Hassan Khan at the Flying Saucer.

Among the first film and video screenings of the Biennial is In the Absence of the Objects Seen, a screening event by Brooklyn-based Palestinian multimedia artist Ayreen Anastas and New York-based Iranian Rene Gabri at Bait Obaid Al Shamsi.

Closing the official opening schedule of the Biennial, on Saturday 7 March, will be the first screening of the SB12 Film Programme, which will take place every Saturday for the duration of the Biennial at Mirage City Cinema, SAF Art Spaces.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: African artists, Middle Eastern artists, Asian artists, biennials, biennales, events in Sharjah

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