Middle East and Africa Pressing Contemporary Art Issues Documented by the Sharjah Art Foundation

Published November 16th, 2020 - 11:34 GMT
Working in collaboration with other scholarly and museum publishers around the world, the Foundation has produced more than 45 artist books, exhibition catalogues, monographs and critical theory texts
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation
Working in collaboration with other scholarly and museum publishers around the world, the Foundation has produced more than 45 artist books, exhibition catalogues, monographs and critical theory texts

Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) announced major original publications released under the Foundation’s imprint in 2020. Including monographs on significant modern and contemporary artists from the MENASA region, publications resulting from and documenting the latest edition of the Sharjah Biennial, and critical new texts on pressing topics in contemporary art, Sharjah Art Foundation’s latest titles represent a significant and ongoing expansion of the Foundation’s publishing arm.

Working in collaboration with other scholarly and museum publishers around the world, the Foundation has produced more than 45 artist books, exhibition catalogues, monographs and critical theory texts to date as an extension of the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to producing original scholarship and providing platforms for significant artists and cultural practitioners from the MENASA region and around the world.

‘Since our establishment in 2009, Sharjah Art Foundation has collaborated closely with artists, curators, cultural practitioners and institutions from around the world to produce and disseminate new scholarship that further strengthens and extends the reach of our initiatives,’ said Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. ‘This includes the Sharjah Biennial, our year-round exhibitions and other core Foundation programmes.’


These publications of major art exhibitions and cultural interactions include:

Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist

Hassan Sharif was a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East. Moving between his roles as an artist, educator, critic and writer, Sharif influenced and encouraged the engagement of local audiences with contemporary art through his extensive Arabic translations of historical art texts and manifestos.

He was also the founder of informal art spaces and ateliers that supported interdisciplinary approaches to regional contemporary art through mentorship and exhibition, an approach that was ahead of its time. This special publication highlights these contributions to the development of local and regional artistic production.

Art in the Age of Anxiety

Art in the Age of Anxiety is a major new publication that brings together thought leaders in the field of image and internet culture to consider how consciousness has been deeply affected by the proliferation of everyday technological devices and platforms. Authored collectively during a period of lockdown, the book functions as a historical document of how we look at art in an age of crisis. It features a major scholarly contribution by the editor of the publication, Omar Kholeif, who is Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation.

This text is presented alongside essays by Anonymous, Saira Ansari, Douglas Coupland, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Aruba Khalid, Norman M. Klein, WJT Mitchell and Todd Reisz.  This 400+ page volume includes original reflections interspersed with artistic interventions that interrogate the digital realm from a range of perspectives.

Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara Monograph

This major monograph looks at the seminal work of Palestinian artist Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara (1933–2020), who used his art to decry the violent suppression of his homeland and promote international solidarity worldwide. the 300+ page book presents extensive colour images of Zarara’s work and archives, including personal memoirs translated into English, annotated material selected from past portfolios, press clippings reflecting on his notable career with quotes from the artist, an index of selected artworks, a bibliography and the artist’s exhibition history.

March Meeting 2019: Beyond The Echo Chamber

Expanding on the work of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual March Meeting—a three-day gathering of artists, curators and arts practitioners who discuss critical issues in contemporary art—this publication is a compilation of individual responses from March Meeting 2019 participants Federica Bueti, Golnaz Esmaili, Tala Gharagozlou, Özgün Eylül İşcen and Mahshid Rafiei. Providing important readings of both Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber and the corollary 2019 edition of the March Meeting, the contributors expand on the various themes and discussions through approaches ranging from the academic to the experimental.

Sharjah Biennial 14 Catalogue: Look for Me All Around You

This publication is one of three catalogues for Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber, curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons. This publication, edited by Claire Tancons and Diego del Valle Rios/TERREMOTO, accompanies the platform Look for Me All Around You, part of Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving The Echo Chamber. This book charts a non-chronological time-space (dis-) continuum between the Americas and the Emirates, building unexpected trans-oceanic and multi-diasporic bridges for a global history.

This volume provides interpretative, discursive, poetic, political, and theoretical tools to compare and contrast modes of migration, production, extraction, and exploitation through a series of 30 newly commissioned context-specific works and critical texts. Look for Me All Around You also operates as an artists’ book generative of readings on performance.

Corniche 2

A collaborative project bringing together UAE-based artists and illustrators, Corniche 2 is the second edition of a comic anthology that pays homage to the Sharjah corniche next to which the Foundation is located. This publication is a unique entry into the minds of 23 artists living in the UAE and the first publication of its kind to be produced in the UAE. It features a collection of comic stories in Arabic and English that have been created with a variety of tools, ranging from traditional ink and pencil to new media.

The first edition of Corniche featured the work of 15 artists who worked together during a number of zine-making workshops in the lead-up to the Foundation’s annual art book fair, FOCAL POINT. This second edition includes comics made by over 20 artists meeting on Zoom calls and in virtual workshops.

© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like