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Sharjah Biennial 11 Announces New Selection of Artists

Sharjah Biennial 11 Curator Yuko Hasegawa Reveals A Selection of Artists: Saadane Afif, Yang Fudong, Studio Mumbai, Kazuyo Sejima, and Wael Shawky

Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) has announced March 13–17, 2013, as the dates for the Sharjah Biennial’s opening week programme and the annual March Meeting. A new selection of artists invited to participate in Sharjah Biennial 11 has also been announced, including Francis Alÿs, Tiffany Chung, Runa Islam, Lucia Koch, Nasir Nasrallah, Ernesto Neto, Otobong Nkanga, Gabriel Orozco, and Ayman Ramadan. Sharjah Biennial 11 will take place March 13 through May 13, 2013.

Sharjah Heritage Area

Yesterday during the São Paulo Biennial, at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sharjah Art Foundation hosted a panel discussion between Sharjah Biennial 11 Curator Yuko Hasegawa, Sharjah Art Foundation President and Director Hoor Al Qasimi, and Brazilian artist Lucia Koch, who has been invited to participate in Sharjah Biennial 11.

In June, Sharjah Art Foundation announced five additional artists who will be creating work for Sharjah Biennial 11: Saadane Afif, Yang Fudong, Studio Mumbai, Kazuyo Sejima, and Wael Shawky.

Sharjah Biennial 11 will feature a large number of new artist commissions, and large-scale projects by a range of international architects who will create temporary public structures in locations across the city. The Biennial will also host collateral performance, film, and public outreach programmes.

Sharjah Biennial Opening Week Programme & March Meeting dates
The Sharjah Biennial Opening Week Programme will begin with the professional opening on March 13, 2013, followed by the evening Biennial Awards dinner and ceremony. A full schedule of events March 13–17 will include performances, films, lectures, and the annual March Meeting, a three-day symposium featuring presentations by artists, art professionals, and institutions on the production and dissemination of art in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa, South Asia) region and internationally.

Sharjah Biennial 11 Curatorial Concept:
For the Biennial’s upcoming edition, Yuko Hasegawa has begun to look at artworks and practices that resonate with strands of the Sharjah Biennial 11 theme: complexity and diversity of cultures and societies; spatial and political relations; notions of new forms of contact, dialogue and exchange; and production through art and architectural practices of new ways of knowing, thinking and feeling.

Hasegawa was inspired by the courtyard in Islamic architecture—in particular the historical courtyards of Sharjah—where elements of both public and private life intertwine, where the objective political world and the introspective subjective space intersect and cross over. What sorts of encounter and exchange do they make possible? What are the ambiguities of such ‘open-closed’ spaces—and their potentials?

The courtyard is also seen as a “plane of experience and experimentation”—an arena for learning and critical thinking of a discursive and embodied kind. It marks a generative space for the production of new awareness and knowledge. Within the network of intensifying international and globalising links, the courtyard as an experiential and experimental space comes to mirror something of Sharjah as a vital zone of work, labour and creativity, of transmission and transformation, of cosmopolitanising forces from below.

Hasegawa states, “I am inviting a selection of architects and practitioners from Lebanon, India, Belgium, Japan, Spain and elsewhere to create temporary architectural interventions that will help envision new urban structures that connect Sharjah’s historic area and its courtyard typology with the larger city. Within these new and traditional structures, a range of artists will be invited to create works, performances and events that will explore and articulate new forms of shared experience. Here the courtyard becomes more than a ‘familiar dwelling place’—it becomes a ‘condition’ of production, a launch pad of new artistic and cultural experience and knowledge.”

About the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF)
Sharjah Art Foundation brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programmes to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Since 2009, SAF has built on the history of cultural collaboration and exchange that began with the first Sharjah Biennial in 1993.

For more information on Sharjah Art Foundation and its programmes, please visit

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