January 23, 2011 - Sharjah Art Foundation - Programs of the 10th Sharjah Biennial
January 23, 2011

Programs of the 10th Sharjah Biennial

Almagul Menlibayeva and Bahar Behbahani, Video still from “Ride the Caspian,” 2011.
2-channel HD Video, color, surround sound, 13:00 minutes, sound artists: OMFO and Negar Behbahani.*

Sharjah Art Foundation’s
Programs of the 10th Edition of Sharjah Biennial
Plot for a Biennial

16 March – 16 May 2011

www.sharjahart.org

Sharjah Biennial 10 Programs in Visual Arts, Film, Music, Performance and Publications to present new commissions and existing works by 119 artists and participants across the globe, curated by Suzanne Cotter and Rasha Salti in association with Haig Aivazian.

The Sharjah Art Foundation announces the programs of Sharjah Biennial 10, Plot for a Biennial. Co-curated by Suzanne Cotter (Curator, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project) and Rasha Salti (Creative Director ArteEast), with Associate Curator Haig Aivazian (Chicago-based independent curator, artist and writer), Plot for a Biennial will feature more than 65 Sharjah Biennial Commissions as well as a broad selection of existing works across the disciplines over the course of its two-month run. One of the oldest and most respected contemporary art events in the Middle East, Sharjah Biennial 10 will commence with an official opening ceremony in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and H.H. Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation.

Over the course of eight weeks, Plot for a Biennial will unfold in a multivalent presentation of works and programs spanning the disciplines of visual art, film, choreography, music, video and publishing. The 2011 Sharjah Biennial will feature works by 119 artists and participants from 36 countries across the globe for an international gathering of “plot” makers and visionaries. Sharjah Biennial Commissions, film premieres, and exceptional, intriguing works will be presented in a variety of venues across Sharjah, from new spaces created specially for Sharjah Biennial 10, to historic venues, city streets and the renowned Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

*For a complete list of artists and participants involved in the below Sharjah Biennial 10 Programs, please visit www.sharjahart.org.

Visual Arts Program
Sharjah Biennial 10 will present an extensive exhibition of visual art featuring works in various media including painting, drawing, etching, photography, architecture, sculpture, mixed media, installation, and site-specific work. Drawing inspiration from the curators’ conceptual framework Plot for a Biennial, exhibitions will unfold in intriguing venues across the heart of Sharjah, including notable landmarks of Emirati architecture, Sharjah’s historic Cricket Stadium, traditional houses once abandoned and later converted into contemporary art spaces, as well as new temporary structures designed especially for Sharjah Biennial 10. Newly designed spaces will host works by Alfredo Jaar, Emily Jacir, and Ramin Haerizadeh; while publicly sited works by artists such as Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Jumana Emil Abboud and Judith Barry, will be presented in the vicinity of the Sharjah Art Museum and the Heritage Area. Many site-specific commissions will be located in other traditional structures including work by Rosalind Nashashibi, Walid Sadek, a sound commission by Trisha Donnelly, and a series of site-specific paintings by Imran Qureshi.

Film Program
Plot for a Biennial will present works commissioned by the Sharjah Biennial including seven short films, among other works of short and feature-length. Commissioned filmmakers include Karim Ainouz, Bahman Kiarostami, and Caveh Zahedi.

In a series of curated screening programs, filmmakers, producers, directors, cinematographers, and writers take on the role of curator. Each program becomes a work in and of itself as a collection of cinematic plots curated to correspond with the Biennial’s encompassing themes of treachery and treason, while further framed by the curators’ own choice of “region” including the Eastern Block, South America and Africa.

Films presented will be made available on DVD and distributed to Sharjah Biennial 10 visitors for free.

Music Program
Sharjah Biennial 10 will feature a series of musical evenings titled A Score for a Biennial. The program unfolds around complex collaborations where artists and musicians of international renown will engage in unique and in-depth dialogues in Sharjah, across griot traditions, free jazz, alt rock, Gnawa devotional music and layered samplings of field recordings. A Score for a Biennial will span across three evenings during the Biennial’s opening week in the open courtyard of Bait Al Shamsi. Musicians include Yusef Lateef, Dimi Mint Abba and Amino Belyamani, An additional musical evening will feature a performance by critically acclaimed Syrian soprano Noma Omran.

Performance and Additional Events
The Biennial’s opening week will also feature Mushrooms and Fig Leaves, a Sharjah Biennial 10 commissioned work by Choreographer Omar Rajeh and performed by the Beirut-based Maqamat Dance Theatre. Additional opening week events will include 79.89.09, a lecture by Eurasia-based collective Slavs and Tatars; Untimely Collaboration, a seminar with Jalal Toufic, Walid Raad and Omar Berrada; and, a guided visit to the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium with artist Rayyane Tabet to view the one-night installation of a three-part project, Home on Neutral Ground.

Publications
As part of the 10th edition, the Biennial has commissioned a range of publications in addition to the Sharjah Biennial 10 catalogue. Playing on eclectic parallels and contrasts between the literary sense of the word “plot” and the Biennial’s overarching themes, Manual for Treason will feature a series of editions in which bi-lingual writers, translators, legal scholars, curators, art historians, critics, filmmakers, artists and theorists were invited to guest edit their version of the manual, in one or more language, in addition to English. Languages include Turkish, Armenian, Arabic, Bengali, Urdu and Farsi. Other publications will include works by Cabinet and artists Lynn Love and Ann Sappenfield.

About the Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation supports the flourishing arts environment in the Gulf by nurturing artistic opportunities and actively pursuing both a regional and international program of cultural collaboration and exchange.

Sharjah Art Foundation builds on the pioneering role the Emirate of Sharjah has played in the artistic and cultural development of the Gulf region. Inspired by the cross-fertilisation and rich cultural diversity of the Emirates, the Foundation provides both national and international leadership in the production and presentation of contemporary visual arts. Recognising the central and distinctive contribution that art makes to society, the Sharjah Art Foundation cultivates a spirit of research, experimentation and excellence while acting as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange within the Middle East and beyond. www.sharjahart.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
FITZ & CO, New York
Concetta Duncan
Tel: +1-212-627-1455, x226 / x232
concetta@fitzandco.com

Sharjah Art Foundation
Farah Atoui
Tel: +971 6 568 5050
E: farahatoui@sharjahart.org

*Image above:
Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation.

Programs of the 10th Sharjah Biennial
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