March Meeting and spring 2021 exhibitions
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March Meeting and spring 2021 exhibitions

Sharjah Art Foundation

William Kentridge, Zeno Writing (still), 2002. 35mm, 16mm and mini DV transferred to Betacam and DVD; 12 minutes. Collection Sharjah Art Foundation.*

December 8, 2020
March Meeting and spring 2021 exhibitions
Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah
UAE
sharjahart.org
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Sharjah Art Foundation today announced its spring 2021 programme, which sees the return of the Foundation’s annual March Meeting (MM) in an expanded in-person and virtual format. MM 2021 will serve as a prelude to Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, opening in spring 2022.The spring 2021 programme will also feature major solo shows exploring the work of influential artists from the MENASA region, the first Sharjah Art Foundation Collection exhibition to be held in the newly renovated Flying Saucer, and the third international collaboration to present the Foundation’s expansive Hassan Sharif retrospective to a global audience.

Detailed information on the Foundation’s spring 2021 programme in Sharjah and around the world follows below:


March Meeting 2021: Unravelling the Present
March 12–21, 2021
Sharjah Art Foundation

The Foundation’s annual March Meeting (MM) will return in an extended dual on-site and online format from March 12 to 21, 2021. Usually organised as a three-day convening of artists, curators and art practitioners who meet to explore critical issues in contemporary art, the 2021 edition of March Meeting will take place over 10 days and serve as the launch of the 15th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, due to open in 2022. Titled Unravelling the Present, this edition of March Meeting looks back at the past 30 years of the Biennial and brings together former Sharjah Biennial curators, artistic directors and artists as well as art historians and critics to consider the initiative’s role and impact on the region and examine the art biennial as an important vehicle for engaging with history, politics and society, and the ways in which they shape our global present. MM 2021 is an integral part of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (SB15), which was laid out by the late Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019) and will be organised as a posthumous homage to his transformative contributions to the field. SB15 will be curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, in collaboration with the SB15 Working Group and Advisory Committee. Registration for the online and in-person portions of the programme is now live at this link.

Read more here.

Rayyane Tabet: Exquisite Corpse
March 12–June 15, 2021
Sharjah Art Foundation

Rayyane Tabet: Exquisite Corpse brings together newly commissioned works and reconceived presentations from FRAGMENTS (2016–ongoing), the artist’s most ambitious project to date and marks its first in-depth presentation in the region. Drawing on personal insight and historical records to stage encounters between audiences and matters of geopolitical consequence, the body of work explores an archaeological excavation led by German diplomat Baron Max von Oppenheim in Tell Halaf, northeast Syria, at the turn of the 20th century. The artist’s great-grandfather, Faek Borkhoche, worked as von Oppenheim’s secretary for six months in 1929, a few years after Western powers had carved up the region. Following this familial connection, Tabet has developed works that engage with family heirlooms and archaeological artefacts through accidents of history—across time, generations and continents. Curated by Ryan Inouye, Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation, the exhibition conveys the story of the Tell Halaf excavation and foregrounds the wide-ranging fallout of an era that Tabet’s project takes up through current discussions of cultural appropriation, museological practice and freedom of movement.

Read more here.

Unsettled Objects
March 12–June 15, 2021
Sharjah Art Foundation

The first presentation of the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection to be held in the newly renovated Flying Saucer, Unsettled Objects is curated by Omar Kholeif, the Foundation’s Director of Collections and Senior Curator. The exhibition draws its title from a major new acquisition by the late conceptual artist Lothar Baumgarten, Unsettled Objects (1968–1969), which is a slide carousel projection that unfolds the hidden characteristics behind the foundational artefacts of Western museum collections. The work is presented alongside other newly acquired and rarely seen works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection, revealing artists and artworks that encourage the viewer to reconsider how the creative imagination is constructed. Designed to create conversations through thought-provoking individual experiences, the exhibition is composed of a constellation of individual presentations and salon hangs that take on the circular shape of The Flying Saucer, one of Sharjah’s architectural landmarks.  

Read more here.

Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist
March 5–September 26, 2021
Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Saint-Étienne Métropole (MAMC+), France

Originally organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi as the largest and most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to date, the fourth iteration of the international tour of Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist, co-curated by Al Qasimi and Aurélie Voltz, General Director of MAMC+, will be on view at MAMC+ from March 5 to September 26, 2021. Tracing nearly five decades of the artist’s multimedia practice, including painting, sculpture, assemblage, drawing, installation and photography as well as later works on view for the first time, this landmark retrospective is the culmination of the artist’s lifelong role as an advocate and pioneer for the development of contemporary art and thought in the United Arab Emirates, particularly in Sharjah, where he first began staging interventions and exhibitions of contemporary art and exhibited at the first Sharjah Biennial in 1993.

The European tour of the exhibition has been organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Malmö Konsthall; and the Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Saint-Etienne.

For more information, visit sharjahart.org.

Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11

On view through April 10, 2021
Sharjah Art Foundation

Marking over a decade of collaboration with Sharjah Art Foundation and the surrounding community, Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11, curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, centres around experimental and innovative musical forms. The exhibition offers audiences opportunities to learn about and explore instrument-making, compositional structure and musical collaboration.

The works in the exhibition, developed over the last 11 years, represent the culmination of the artist’s ongoing exploration of different methods of listening, composition and performance. The instruments Atoui has created are the product of extensive research into music history and tradition as well as collaborations with different experts. Challenging established ways of listening through innovative approaches to sound, the instruments also build on the artist’s earlier project WITHIN, which grew out of years of work with Deaf culture. This project, originating in Sharjah, investigated how deafness can influence the way sound performance, space and instrumentation are understood.

Read more here.

Zarina Bhimji: Black Pocket

On view through April 10, 2021
Sharjah Art Foundation

For over 30 years, Zarina Bhimji’s work has staged enquiry into image, object, sound and language, searching for the universal in both its literal and abstract manifestations. This major survey, organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, presents a number of the artist’s seminal works across film, photography and installation. The exhibition features the artist’s early exploration into forms of knowledge overlooked by established systems of order as well as her later exploration of architecture and landscape as arbiters of complex experience and emotion. Each project, embarked upon after meticulous research and recce trips spanning weeks at a time, sees Bhimji sympathetically inhabit sites via her practice: every location becomes an open-air studio, cleared of political or historic specificity.

Read more here.

Media Contacts
Alyazeyah Al Reyaysa, alyazeyah [​at​] sharjahart.org, T +971(0)65444113

*Image caption
William Kentridge, Zeno Writing (still), 2002. 35mm, 16mm and mini DV transferred to Betacam and DVD; 12 minutes. Collection Sharjah Art Foundation. Recipient of the 6th Sharjah Biennial Award, Zeno Writing was part of Sharjah Biennial 6 (2003) and will be on view in the exhibition Unsettled Objects (March 12–June 15, 2021).

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Sharjah Art Foundation
December 8, 2020

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