Sharjah Biennial’s 140+ artists

Okwui Enwezor

More than 140 artists from over 70 countries have been listed for Sharjah Biennial 15 to realise the vision of the late Okwui Enwezor.

It’s a genuinely impressive roster that include a number of major international figures active across a range of media, and as you’d hope for from a biennial it provides something of a snapshot of contemporary art with a particular focus.

Conceived by Enwezor and curated by Sharjah Art Foundation’s director Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (which runs 7 February to 11 June 2023) reflects on Enwezor’s work, which has influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world – including of course the Sharjah Biennial – in developing a post-Western view of contemporary art and how to present it.

He viewed the contemporary art exhibition as a means to engage with history, politics and society in our global present. “Owkui saw Sharjah Biennial’s 30-year anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on the role that biennials serve in the ecosystem of contemporary art, particularly the Sharjah Biennial itself and the broader Foundation that grew from it,” said Hoor al Qasimi.

“With gratitude to Okwui and the ambitious intellectual project he conceived, we are organising a Biennial that builds on and honours his vision to probe the past, present and future role that biennials and institutions … can serve.”

To mark the Biennial’s 30-year anniversary, Enwezor proposed commissioning 30 works for the Biennial to explore histories that continue to shape our present. The commissioned artists:

  • John Akomfrah
  • Kader Attia
  • Sammy Baloji
  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons
  • Carolina Caycedo
  • Destiny Deacon
  • Manthia Diawara
  • Coco Fusco
  • Hassan Hajjaj
  • Mona Hatoum
  • Lubaina Himid
  • Isaac Julien
  • Amar Kanwar
  • Bouchra Khalili
  • Mohammed Ibrahim Mahama
  • Kerry James Marshall
  • Steve McQueen
  • Almagul Menlibayeva
  • Aline Motta
  • Wangechi Mutu
  • Philippe Parreno
  • Doris Salcedo
  • Berni Searle
  • Yinka Shonibare
  • Vivan Sundaram
  • Fatimah Tuggar
  • Hajra Waheed
  • Barbara Walker
  • Nari Ward
  • Carrie Mae Weems

Artists who have also been invited to participate:

  • Abdulrahim Salem
  • Akeim Toussaint Buck
  • Ali Cherri
  • Ali Eyal
  • Angela Ponce
  • Anita Pouchard Serra
  • Anju Dodiya
  • Annalee Davis
  • Archana Hande
  • Asma Belhamar
  • Au Sow Yee
  • Ayoung Kim
  • Aziza Shadenova
  • Bahar Behbahani
  • Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
  • Brenda Fajardo
  • Brook Andrew
  • Cao Fei
  • Dala Nasser
  • Dana Awartani
  • David Hammons
  • Diedrick Brackens
  • Elia Nurvista
  • Emily Kame Kngwarreye
  • Erkan Özgen
  • Eubena Nampitjin
  • Farah Al Qasimi
  • Fathi Afifi
  • Fathi Hassan
  • Felix Shumba
  • Flavia Gandolfo
  • Gabriela Golder
  • Gabrielle Goliath
  • Hangama Amiri
  • Hank Willis Thomas
  • Hanni Kamaly
  • Helina Metaferia
  • Heri Dono
  • Hiroji Kubota
  • Hoda Afshar
  • Nilima Sheikh
  • Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
  • Hyesoo Park
  • Ibrahim Mahama
  • Iftikhar Dadi and Elizabeth Dadi
  • Imane Djamil
  • Inuuteq Storch
  • Jasbir Puar and Dima Srouji
  • Jawad Al Malhi
  • Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
  • Joiri Minaya
  • Kahurangiariki Smith
  • Kambui Olujimi
  • Khadija Saye
  • Kiluanji Kia Henda
  • Kimathi Donkor
  • Kimowan Metchewais
  • Laura Huertas Millán
  • Lavanya Mani
  • Lee Kai Chung
  • Maharani Mancanagara
  • Maitha Abdalla
  • Malala Andrialavidrazana
  • Mame-Diarra Niang
  • mandla
  • Marisol Mendez
  • Marwah AlMugait
  • Mary Sibande
  • Meleanna Meyer
  • Michael Rakowitz
  • Mirna Bamieh
  • Mithu Sen
  • Monira Al Qadiri
  • Mounira Al Solh
  • Moza Almatrooshi
  • Nabil El Makhloufi
  • Naiza Khan
  • Natalie Ball
  • Nelly Sethna
  • Nil Yalter
  • Nusra Latif Qureshi
  • Obaid Suroor
  • Okwui Okpokwasili
  • Omar Badsha
  • Pablo Bartholomew and Richard Bartholomew
  • Pak Khawateen Painting Club
  • Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
  • Pipo Nguyen-Duy
  • Prajakta Potnis
  • Pushpakanthan Pakkiyarajah
  • Queenie McKenzie
  • Raheleh Filsoofi
  • Reena Saini Kallat
  • Rehab Eldalil
  • Robyn Kahukiwa
  • Roméo Mivekannin
  • Rushdi Anwar
  • Saddam Jumaily
  • Sangeeta Sandrasegar
  • Saodat Ismailova
  • Semsar Siahaan
  • Shelley Niro
  • Shiraz Bayjoo
  • Smita Sharma
  • Solmaz Daryani
  • Tahila Mintz
  • Tania El Khoury
  • The Living and the Dead Ensemble
  • Theaster Gates
  • Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi
  • Tracey Moffatt
  • Umar Rashid
  • Varunika Saraf
  • Veronica Ryan
  • Waheeda Malullah
  • Wang Jianwei
  • Wendy Red Star
  • Wook-kyung Choi
  • Yulia Grigoryants
  • Zohra Opoku

Thinking Historically in the Present is being realised by Al Qasimi as curator in conjunction with the Sharjah Biennial 15 Working Group, comprised of Tarek Abou El Fetouh (independent curator); Ute Meta Bauer (Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore); Salah M Hassan (professor of art history at Cornell University and Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah); Chika Okeke-Agulu (professor and art historian, Princeton University); and Octavio Zaya (independent curator, art writer and Executive Director of the Cuban Art Foundation).


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