Sharjah Biennial 13 to expand beyond the United Arab Emirates

Sharjah Art Foundation(SAF) is pleased to announce the forthcoming parts of Sharjah Biennial 13, Tamawuj (SB13). Curated by Christine Tohme, the forthcoming edition will span a period of one year, from October 2016 through October 2017, across five cities: Beirut, Dakar, Istanbul, Ramallah and Sharjah.

By cultivating collaborations, infrastructures and strategies within those localities, Tamawuj will pose questions around, and propose answers to, the conditions for the possibility of an art world. In a region currently being invested with larger institutions and lesser infrastructures, SB13 will cross from the ideal to the material. Vital interventions will stretch the idea of the biennial in order to traverse rooted contexts, harnessing the agility and fragility of present informal networks.

The five parts of SB13 are an online depository of research material, four projects curated by four Interlocutors outside of the UAE, a year-long education programme in Sharjah, a year-long online publishing platform and a public programme in two parts: Act I, the biennial exhibition and programme in Sharjah from March to June 2017, and Act II, the culmination of SB13 taking place in Beirut in October 2017.

Artist Kader Attia; curators Lara Khaldi and Zeynep Oz; and the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Ashkal Alwan; will be engaged in an extended conversation with Sharjah, from specific sites within the broader region: the cities of Dakar, Senegal; Ramallah, Palestine;Istanbul,Turkey; and Beirut, Lebanon respectively.

These four Interlocutors will be working closely with researchers in the four cities, paired with counterparts in Sharjah. Together they will populate chip-ship, a centralised digital storage space, housing various media, images, and texts, addressing the four keywordswater, earth, crops and culinary. Each keyword also will correspond to a locality, which will host one of four consecutive programmes envisioned by the Interlocutors in Dakar (January 2017); Istanbul (May 2017); Ramallah (August 2017); and Beirut (October 2017). A year-long online publishing platform will host articles, media and essays responding to the four keywords; four consecutive compendia will be released coinciding with the start of each of the four off-site projects.

This dense digital accumulation of resource material will be made available to fifteen artists, inspiring new commissions for SB13’s Act I in Sharjah. The exhibition in Sharjah will be on view from March 10 through June 12, 2017 and will feature over fifty international artists. The opening programme held from March 10 through 14, 2017, will include performances, film screenings and the 10th annual March Meeting. Two other exhibitions will be on view in Beirut from October 19, 2017 through January 19, 2018, coupled with a programme of performances, film screenings, talks and panels.

Parallel to SB13, SAF will host an intensive education programme, designed to help local infrastructures in the western, central and eastern regions of the Emirate of Sharjah and empower their various communities. The programme – SB13 School – will be open to participants of all abilities and ages, from age 3 to adults. The free programme will start in October 2016 and will run until the end of the Biennial.

Sharjah Biennial is organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, which brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programmes to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Since 1993, Sharjah Biennial has commissioned, produced and presented large-scale public installations, performances, and films, offering artists from the region and beyond an internationally recognised platform for exhibition and experimentation.

Key dates

●October 15, 2016: Launch of SB13 School, a year-long educational programme in Sharjah
●October 15, 2016: Launch of a digital research platform titled chip-ship
●January 8, 2017: Off-site project in Dakar (around the theme of water)
●March 10 – 14, 2017: Opening of Sharjah Biennial 13 Act I, featuring the SB13 exhibition and programme in Sharjah; exhibition runs through June 12, 2017
●May 13, 2017: Off-site project in Istanbul (around the theme of crops)
●August 10, 2017: Off-site project in Ramallah (around the theme of earth)
●October 15, 2017: Off-site project in Beirut (around the theme of culinary)
●October 19, 2017: Sharjah Biennial 13 Act II, culminating exhibitions and programmes in Beirut


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