Sharjah Art Foundation weaves cultural rainbow with summer-autumn programmes - GulfToday

Sharjah Art Foundation weaves cultural rainbow with summer-autumn programmes


Farhad Moshiri, Golden Love Super Deluxe.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

The third exhibition in a four-year series titled Sharjapan (July 24 – Oct. 1) curated by Yuko Hasegawa titled Remain Calm: Solitude and Connectivity in Japanese Architecture, examines modern and contemporary architecture in Japan. It explores ideas that resonate as the pandemic has made staying at home the ‘new normal.’

The Rain Forever Will be Made of Bullets (July 24 – Oct. 1) takes its title from a work by Simone Fattal.

The exhibition brings together works focusing on the struggles and wars that occurred in the respective artists’ home countries through their exploration of artistic medium and source material. Compositions by Etel Adnan, Fattal and Lala Rukh, shown previously at the Foundation, are joined by a selection of newly acquired sculptures and works on paper by Chaouki Choukini.

The exhibition When I Count, There Are Only You … (July 24 – Oct. 1) takes its title from a work by Farideh Lashai that was itself inspired by Goya’s Disasters of War.

Curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, SAF President and Director, it examines the role artists play in society by revealing the most intimate and personal details of their inner thoughts, thus leaving them open for public deliberation and interpretation.

It brings together the work of Farhad Moshiri, Lashai, Iman Issa, Mandy El-Sayegh, Nari Ward, Prajakta Potnis, Rabih Mroué and Rasheed Araeen. Hrair Sarkissian: The Other Side of Silence (Oct. 30 – Jan. 30, 2022) is a project from the artist’s first mid-career survey. He has created two major new commissions, Last Seen (2018-2021) commissioned by SAF and Little Apple (working title) commissioned by the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht.

SAF1 Nile Koetting, Remain Calm, performance view. 

The exhibition also features an expansive presentation of many of the artist’s major artworks produced since 2006, including Unfinished and In Between (both 2006), Execution Squares (2008) and Final Flight (2017–2019).

Acting simultaneously as an archaeologist and storyteller, Sarkissian employs photographic techniques to conjure landscapes that uncover historical traumas, which most often remain unseen.

The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis (Nov. 13 – Feb, 13, 2022) references the African American science fiction novelist Octavia Butler’s legendary Xenogenesis trilogy.

The exhibition brings together a selection of key works by The Otolith Group, the London-based art collective consisting of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun. Suspended between fiction, poetry, documentary and theory, the Group’s post-cinematic films, high-definition videos and multiple screen installations address the global crises of the Racial Capitalocene that have shaped contemporary planetary capitalism. Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11 Residency Programme (Sept – Dec.) is a continuation of his major solo exhibition Cycles in 11, presented at SAF from September 2020 to April 2021.

 The artist invites eight residents from across disciplines and around the world to take part in a residency programme exploring experimental and innovative musical forms. Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian’s Khayyam Fountain, installed June 10 in the Foundation’s Al Hamriyah Studios, is where the late artist’s final retrospective was presented in 2019.

It pays homage to the 11th century mathematician, astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam and is emblematic of Farmanfarmaian’s six-decade career fashioning luminous abstract sculptures and drawings out of glass, mosaic, paper and fabric, fusing her interests in geometry, Sufism and Islamic architecture. Annual SAF initiatives include Vantage Point Sharjah 9 (VPS9, Sept. 18 – Dec. 18), the ninth iteration of SAF’s annual photography initiative. VPS9 invited local and international photographers to submit their work by July 3, under the following categories: Conceptual, Photojournalism and Documentary, Experimental and Staged Photography.

Applicants were free to choose their own theme and artistic approach. A jury consisting of Ammar Al Attar, Sham Enbashi, M’hammed Kilito and Alia Al Shamsi will make the final selection of images that will be presented in an exhibition opening at the Foundation’s Al Hamriyah Studios on September 18. One winner in each category will be selected by the jury to receive a prize of USD 1,500.

Sharjah Film Platform 4 (SFP, Nov. 19 – 27) is an annual film festival includes short and feature-length film screenings and awards programme, a public programme of talks and workshops as well as the SFP Industry Hub, an initiative that supports professional development, film production and distribution regionally and internationally.

FOCAL POINT Art Book Fair (Dec. 9 – 11) is the annual art book fair dedicated to presenting printed matter and products by publishers and artists from across the UAE, the MENASA region and the world.

The FOCAL POINT Publishing Grant, which supports art historical research projects that focus on artists, practices or theoretical content produced in the MENASA region, will open for submissions in summer 2021. SAF’s international collaborations include Bani Abidi: The Man Who Talked Until He Disappeared (Sept. 4 – June 5) featuring formative video, photography, sound works as well as new commissions. The exhibition is developed in collaboration with Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Ongoing project School of Casablanca, is a collaboration between SAF and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, collaborating with Goethe-Institut Marokko, ThinkArt and Zamân Books & Curating.

It explores the legacy of the Casablanca Art School and its innovative pedagogical methods and exhibition strategies in 1960s Morocco. Launched in 2020 and continuing through 2024, it includes research residencies, public programmes, a digital archive and a touring exhibition of new works created by the residents as well as an exhibition of historical works by the artists who were originally associated with the Casablanca Art School. The six invited residents are Céline Condorelli, Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa, Marion von Osten, Manuel Raeder, Bik Van der Pol and Abdeslam Ziou Ziou.

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