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Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) presents Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11, a major solo exhibition that marks over a decade of work created by sound artist Tarek Atoui in collaboration with the Foundation and the surrounding Sharjah community. Curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, the exhibition centres around experimental and innovative musical forms and offers audiences opportunities to learn about and explore instrument-making, compositional structure and musical collaboration.
The works in the exhibition represent the culmination of the artist’s ongoing exploration of different methods of listening, composition and performance. The instruments created by Atoui 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.
Previously scheduled from March to June 2020, the exhibition now runs for an extended period of six months. During the exhibition, the heritage house Bait Al Serkal, a principal Foundation venue located in Sharjah’s arts area, operates as both a sound lab and a performance and listening space informed by the local tradition of hospitality. In Sharjah’s east coast city of Kalba, another sound lab will be set up close to the emirate’s natural reserves and archaeological sites.
Cycles in 11 will also be the starting point for a regional and international residency programme that will extend into 2022. Musicians, composers and artists will be invited to develop new work for the residency, either individually or with different audiences in Sharjah.
Exploring new methods of collaboration and production, Atoui’s work often revolves around performances that develop from his extensive research into music history and tradition. His use of sound challenges and expands established ways of understanding and experiencing this medium.
The artist has taken part in a number of Sharjah Art Foundation events, exhibitions and residencies over the years, including March Meeting 2012 and 2014; three Sharjah Biennials; Visiting Tarab, Performa 11 commission (2011–2012); Bytes and Pieces, arts and technology workshop (2010); and a Sharjah Art Foundation residency (2008).
* 1980 Beirut, Lebanon. Lives in Paris, France.
Studied contemporary and electronic music at the French National Conservatory of Reims (2007–2008).
Tarek Atoui is an artist and composer working within the realm of sound. Exploring new methods of collaboration and production, Atoui’s work often revolves around performances that develop from his extensive research into music history and tradition. His use of sound challenges and expands established ways of understanding and experiencing this medium.
Recently awarded the 2022 Suzanne Deal Booth / Flag Art Foundation Prize, Atoui has participated in a number of exhibitions and festivals, including the Okayama Art Summit, Japan (2019); 58th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (2019); 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); Sharjah Biennial 9, 10 and 11 (2009, 2011, 2013); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012); and Performa 5, New York (2011).
He has also performed at Garage Moscow (2018); CCA NTU, Singapore (2017); Tate Modern, London (2016); Serpentine Gallery, London (2012); Sharjah Art Foundation (2011); Mediacity Seoul (2010); New Museum, New York (2010); and La Maison Rouge, Paris (2010).
Atoui was one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly, Norway (2016), and STEIM Studios, Amsterdam (2007–2008).
From press information.
© Photos: Sharjah Art Foundation.
Main institution for contemporary arts, organizer of the Biennial and other world class events.
Opening: February 2023. Curator: Hoor Al Qasimi, concept by Okwui Enwezor. Working group: Collaborators of Enwezor.