For an optimal view of our website, please rotate your tablet horizontally.
19 March - 16 May 2009
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Biennial Director: Hoor Al Qasimi
Artistic Director: Jack Persekian
Provisions for the Future
Curator: Isabel Carlos
List of participants
Performance and film program:
Past of the Coming Days
Curator: Tarek Abou El Fetouh
List of participants
Visual tour - 63 participants
180 photos and some videos with information
For the 9th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, the usual curatorial process was expanded. The organizers sought to "transcend central themes and pre-cast frameworks, exhibiting instead a wide range of works selected by open invitation." Through public submission calls of the Sharjah Biennial Production Program, all interested artists and nonartists alike were able to send in proposals for new art projects, which were considered for selection for the Biennial and, in the case of a positive decision, produced by the organizers.
The Sharjah Biennial 9 comprised three main components. The main exhibition entitled Provisions for the Future, curated by Isabel Carlos, considered the notion of the pursuit of happiness as the main motivation for humanity to dislocate itself from one place to another. In this dislocation notions of utopia and future play a major role: a future that is frequently fictionalized through fantasy, narratives or chimerical promises. Hence Sharjah Biennial 9 proposed a pause for reflection and taking stock of the challenges we face, for what we produce now will be our own provision for the future.
The second component was the Performance and Film Programme entitled Past of the Coming Days curated by Tarek Abu El Fetouh. It attempted to explore the post-medium and post-disciplinary tendencies emanating from the seams traditionally separating graphic design, folkloric arts, dance, classical theatre and contemporary art.
The March Meeting 2009 brought together a group of art institutions and professionals from around the Arab world and beyond for an annual meeting in Sharjah in which they could network and connect, share ideas and expertise and explore possibilities for future collaboration. [more about…]
(From information and texts on the website of Sharjah Art Foundation)
Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst, and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Under the leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, a curator and artist, the foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region, and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art.
The foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators, and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions; and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Established in 2009 to expand programmes beyond the Sharjah Biennial, which launched in 1993, the foundation is a critical resource for artists and cultural organisations in the Gulf and a conduit for local, regional, and international developments in contemporary art.
The foundation’s deep commitment to developing and sustaining the cultural life and heritage of Sharjah is reflected through year-round exhibitions, performances, screenings and educational programmes in the city of Sharjah and across the Emirate, often hosted in historic buildings that have been repurposed as cultural and community centres.
A growing collection reflects the foundation’s support of contemporary artists in the realisation of new work and its recognition of the contributions made by pioneering modern artists from the region and around the world.
Sharjah Art Foundation is a legally independent public body established by Emiri Decree and supported by government funding, grants from national and international nonprofits and cultural organisations, corporate sponsors, and individual patrons. All events are free and open to the public.
Sharjah is the third-largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation, and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as a hub of culture in the United Arab Emirates. In 1998, it was named UNESCO's “Arab Capital of Culture” and was designated the UNESCO “World Book Capital” for the year 2019.
Cover image on top: N.S. Harsha, Nations, 2006.
© Photos: Universes in Universe, unless otherwise indicated