Sharjah Biennial 15: “Thinking Historically in the Present”
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Sharjah Biennial 15: “Thinking Historically in the Present” starts on 7 February and will run through 11 June 2023. This year will be the 30-year anniversary of the Sharjah Biennial. Sharjah Art Foundation presents over 300 artworks by over 150 artists and collectives. Artworks will be installed in 5 cities and towns across the emirate of Sharjah: Al Dhaid, Hamriyah, Kalba, Khorfakkan and Sharjah. It is curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation.

Sharjah Biennial 15 (SB15) reflects on Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed contemporary art and established an ambitious intellectual project that has influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world,” states the overview of Sharjah Art Foundation. According to the statement Hoor Al Qasimi interprets and “develops the concept of ‘thinking historically in the present’ by “adopting a working methodology that privileges the role of intuition and incidence.” Al Qasimi also used her own experience as visitor, artist, curator and as director of the Foundation.

Asma Belhamar, Distorted Familiarities, 2021. Glass-fibre reinforced concrete and steel structure. 380 x 277 x 109 cm, 102 x 283 x 184 cm, 280 x 355 x 96 cm. Commissioned by and Collection of Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo: Thorsten Arendt in cooperation with Roman Mensing (detail)

Biennial will include a wide ranging programme of theatre performance, films, talks and music. Some of the venues are sites within Sharjah’s historical quarter, buildings which were recently restored and transformed by the Foundation, formally a vegetable market, a medical clinic and a kindergarten.

Many artworks will engage with the local context of Sharjah. An outdoor installation by Kerry James Marshall will be in the form of an archaeological find. Site-specific projects by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Asma Belhamar, Kambui Olujimi, Prajaka Potnis and Veronica Ryan will converse with the old and new architecture of the place.

As mentioned above, Sharjah Biennial 15 will run from 7 February through 11 June 2023. It will be free and open to the public. Opening week events will take place from 7 to 12 February. 

One can read a daily programme of the opening week events here. More info about Sharjah Biennial is on its official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting the exhibition “An Ocean in Every Drop”.