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Sharjah Biennial opens with 150 artists and over 300 artworks

The biennial will run until June 11, at 16 venues across Sharjah.

Sharjah Biennial opens with 150 artists and over 300 artworks
[Source photo: Sharjah Art Foundation | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

With works by more than 150 artists from 70 countries worldwide, and exhibitions and installations, the highly anticipated Sharjah Biennial got underway today. The biennial is curated by the organization’s director Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi. 

The biennial, titled Thinking Historically in the Present, will run until June 11, at 16 venues across Sharjah, including “a vegetable market, power station, and former kindergarten.

According to Sheikha Hoor, also the director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, the venues were chosen as “a way for us as an institution to expand on our continuing cooperation with the communities across Sharjah.”

“We’ve worked with communities to make sure that we are not imposing international ideas, or not only thinking about western visitors or international visitors but having a conversation and dialogue between local and global,” she said.

The biennial will showcase over 300 artworks, including 70 new works. Sheikha Hoor has collaborated with artists on new works, major commissions, and themes of postcolonial subjectivity, memories, decolonization, and more. Artists like John Akomfrah, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Berni Searle, and Carrie Mae Weems reflect on colonialism, nation-building, and individual/collective memories.

Hong Kong artist Lee Kai Chung has contributed several pieces that explore the spatial displacement of people and things, focusing on post-colonialism in Asia and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the project about French-Algerian relations after colonialism is also being unveiled by Argentine photographer Anita Pouchard Serra. 

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