24 September 2023
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LAST CHANCE Sharjah Biennial 15

11 June


Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present includes more than 300 artworks by (at our count) 159 artists and collectives from around the world, plus talks, performances, film screenings and more. It takes place in 19 venues across five cities and towns in Sharjah (Al Dhaid, Hamriyah, Kalba, and Khorfakkan as well as Sharjah city itself).

Conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor, Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present is curated by Sharjah Art Foundation’s director Hoor Al Qasimi. Enwezor had been one of the most influential thinkers and curators in the art worlds, notably putting into practice a theory of art as an expression of social change, looking beyond American and European traditions (particularly to focus on art from Africa) and emphasising ideas rather than objects. For Enwezor, the contemporary art exhibition provided a means to engage with history, politics and society; his proposition of the ‘postcolonial constellation’ and its pluriverse of key concepts forms a key point of departure for the 15th edition of the Sharjah Biennial.

Hoor Al Qasimi has interpreted Enwezor’s proposal for SB15 with a selection of art – including 70 new works – that critically centre the past within contemporary times. She says “his idea of ‘thinking historically in the present’ is the conceptual framework for the Biennial, which we’ve sought to honour and elaborate on while also reflecting on the Foundation’s own past, present and future as the Biennial marks its 30-year anniversary.”

Above: Archana Hande, All is Fair in Magic White (2008–2011)


11 June
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