Amal Kenawy’s “Frozen Memory”
              Ania Szremski
              By the time I knew her in 2009, before her death in 2012, at only 37, Amal Kenawy seemed to gleam with elite art world prestige, the kind that one assumes would protect against forgetting. The Egyptian artist’s darkly eerie, fungible, genre-defying productions were shown in major exhibitions and biennials around the world, and now, a retrospective at the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF), “Frozen Memory,” seems to attest to the continued endurance of her legacy. Co-curated by SAF’s director Hoor Al Qasimi and Suha Shoman, the executor of the artist’s estate, the exhibition brings together Kenawy’s major works: 11 videos, several paintings and drawings, together with volumes of archival material, from notebooks to sketches to funding proposals, spread out among the many chambers that wrap around the two-story courtyard of the Bait Al Serkal. The show is presented non-chronologically, opening with one of Kenawy’s late pieces, the one most often shown abroad: the controversial Silence of the Sheep (2009), her first (and only) performance in public space. Silence of the Sheep saw Kenawy lead a group of a dozen people (artists and friends, but also day laborers hired for the job) as they crawled through the streets of downtown Cairo. The …
              Sharjah Biennial: 10 Plot for a Biennial (16 March-16 May, 2011) and Art Dubai (16-19 March, 2011)
              November Paynter
              There are few occasions in the art world calendar where a commercial fair and a biennial are as closely aligned in time and space as the Sharjah Biennial and Art Dubai. March 16th saw the tenth edition of the Sharjah Biennial titled “Plot for a Biennial”—curated by Suzanne Cotter and Rasha Salti with Associate Curator Haig Aivazian—open to a busy international crowd, many of whom would shift emirates that very evening to attend the opening of an event half its age with a very different agenda: Art Dubai. With the 10th Sharjah Biennial involving in excess of 80 artists and other cultural actors, it was no coincidence that many were also represented at the fair. Treating the Sharjah Biennial as a script for a film—”replete with plot and characters”—and a series of key themes, Cotter, Salti and Aivazian opened the floor to film-makers, writers and performers, as well as artists. Suggestions for characters and scenes could be sourced within various art works throughout the biennial, but the rhythm of an accumulating plot was less forthcoming. As in previous renditions of this biennial, and largely due to the layout of the museum and peripheral venues, many of the installations occupy very separate …

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