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Curator Yuko Hasegawa. Photo: Sharjah Art Foundation
SB11 Curatorial Concept
Inspired by the courtyard in Islamic architecture —in particular the historical courtyards of Sharjah, where elements of both public and private life intertwine— SB11 Curator Yuko Hasegawa proposes a new cultural cartography that reconsiders the relationships between the Arab world, Asia, the Far East, through North Africa to Latin America.
More about the curatorial concept
More than 100 artists, architects, and musicians have been invited to participate in Sharjah Biennial 11 (SB11), with over one third of them creating new commissions.
List of participants
Curated by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, it features programming by leading figures in the film industry, including Steve Anker, Dean of the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Los Angeles; Khavn De La Cruz, Poet, Pianist, Filmmaker, Mondomanila, the Philippines; Ali Jaafar, Executive Director, Independent Film Division, Quinta Communications, London; Mehelli Modi, Founder of Second Run DVD, London; Alcino Leite Neto, Editor, São Paulo; Jean-Pierre Rehm, Theorist, Festival director, FIDMarseille, Paris; Tilda Swinton, Scotland; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Film Director/ Producer, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The programme includes evening screenings in an outdoor cinema in SAF’s new art spaces of commissioned films, existing productions, and curated film programmes.
Music and Performance Programme
International and regional artists will be featured in a series of music and performance events that will take place throughout SB11. As part of this programme, Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui will orchestrate a series of new commissions by more than ten international musicians, including percussionists who will perform on the roofscape of SAF's art spaces, and an SB11 commissioned solo performance by Egyptian artist Hassan Khan during the opening week. Later events include a Skype-based dance performance by Tunisian dancer and choreographer duo Selma and Sofiane Ouissi and an audiovisual concert by Japanese sound artist Ryoji Ikeda in April.
Sharjah Art Foundation New Art Spaces
The opening of SB11 marked the inauguration of SAF’s five new multi-functional art spaces in the Sharjah Heritage Area which have been in development since 2009. With approximately 20,000 square feet of interior space, connected by open-air courtyards and rooftop terraces, these new spaces provide venues for SAF’s growing activities and the increasing needs of its community.
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.
© Texts: From information by Sharjah Art Foundation.
Cover image on top: Lúcia Koch, Conversion, 2013. Bait Al Hurma
© Photos and videos: Universes in Universe, unless otherwise indicated