During my time in the UAE, and as timing would have it, I was able to experience Sharjah Biennial 12 (SB12), reviewing the festival for LEAP magazine. As I’m writing critical words elsewhere, this blog post will be very image heavy (over 100 images – enjoy!)…sharing quotes from my review. Once published, I will share it in full with you here.
SB12: ‘The past, the present, the possible’ is curated by Eungie Joo and associate curator Ryan Inouye, inviting 55 artists from 25 countries to participate, exhibiting more than 60 works, where 36 artists are showing new works or commissions. ‘The past, the present, the possible’ is inspired by ‘Sharjah, its people and the world that we share, engendered with a community of trust’. Alongside works on show in the established areas of the SAF Art Spaces, Calligraphy Square, Sharjah Art Museum and the Arts Area, site-specific installations and interventions are placed across venues including the bird and animal market, industrial warehouse spaces at Port Khalid, the Corniche Street creekside promenade, the ex-supermarket roadside services building ‘The Flying Sauce’, and the Kalba Ice Factory on the Gulf of Oman.
SB12 is representative of Sharjah’s “architectures of change” – it is about the works and the spaces that frame them….’spatially thought-provoking’…’lively meditative and playful works’ versus ‘a solitary expedition of spiritual self-reflection and discovery’…aiming to be seen as ‘not an attempt at an art history, but a more meaningful insight into the impetus of experimentation at the heart of contemporary art practice today’.
‘Now the city was moving like a map we were drawing, now we would begin to live our life-like a book we were writing.’ – Taken from ‘Unforgiving Years (Part II)’ (2014), a meeting room installation by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme