Sharjah Art Foundation today announced its spring 2022 programme, featuring the 14th edition of the Foundation’s annual March Meeting and a wide-ranging slate of solo exhibitions by pioneering contemporary artists from the MEASA region.
Building upon the 2021 edition, March Meeting 2022 engages with the theoretical framework of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, opening in February 2023. The spring 2022 programme also includes major solo exhibitions of work by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Khalil Rabah, CAMP, Aref El Rayess and Gerald Annan-Forson.
Taking place online and in-person from 5 to 7 March 2022, March Meeting 2022: The Afterlives of the Postcolonial examines the legacies of colonialism and the contemporary impacts of related issues on cultural, aesthetic and artistic practices around the world.
The three-day programme convenes key voices in art and academia to discuss contemporary art and issues through a postcolonial lens, spanning a wide range of topics including racism, settler colonialism, apartheid, social movements including Black Lives Matter, Indigenous rights, climate change and the restitution and repatriation of looted artifacts.
March Meeting 2022, in tandem with March Meeting 2021: Unraveling the Present, is an integral part of the framework for Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (SB15) laid out by the late Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019). SB15 is being curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, in collaboration with the SB15 Working Group and Advisory Committee. Registration for the online and in-person components of March Meeting 2022 is now live at this link.
Alongside March Meeting, the spring 2022 exhibition programme features Lawrence Abu Hamdan: The Sonic Image, the artist’s largest solo exhibition of new work to date, encompassing three significant new bodies of work, a large-scale SAF-commissioned installation, as well as a site-specific performance.
The season also includes Khalil Rabah: What is not, a major exhibition of work by conceptual artist Khalil Rabah from the 1990s to today, examining states of emergency and displacement, and CAMP: Passages through Passages, an exhibition of work by Mumbai-based collaborative studio CAMP featuring video, audio and archival works — including works presented at Sharjah Biennial 9, 10 and 11— that analyze technology, surveillance and public health.
Additionally, the Foundation is partnering with other Sharjah institutions to realise major retrospectives for the late Lebanese artist Aref El Rayess, organised in collaboration with Sharjah Museums Authority, and Ghana-based photographer Gerald Annan-Forson, organised in collaboration with The Africa Institute.
SAP Spring 2022 Programme
Aref El Rayess
26 February– 7 August 2022
Sharjah Art Museum
This major retrospective presents a largely unknown body of work created by the prolific Lebanese artist Aref El Rayess (1928–2005). The exhibition includes a wide range of paintings, drawings, works on paper, sculptures, and tapestries that together reveal the rich and complex artistic practice of this important Arab modernist. Organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and Sharjah Museums Authority, the exhibition is curated by Catherine David, who has been working on the artist’s archive for an extensive period of time.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan: The Sonic Image
4 March–4 July 2022
Sharjah Art Foundation – Gallery 4, 5 and 6, Al Mureijah Square
In his largest solo exhibition of new works to date, award-winning artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan brings together a selection of new multisensory commissions and recent works that probe the question: Can the frequencies, simulations and stimulations of sound reveal narratives concealed from history? Tracing the contours of immaterial forms of colonisation, Abu Hamdan has created a distinctive practice of visual expression. In The Sonic Image, he presents various studies of splintered aural leaks—mapping out an aesthetic atlas for how we see sound. Through detailed examination and experimentation, Abu Hamdan moves towards a new form of image-making—a picture that fluctuates between the ear and the eye, and behaves akin to sound itself.
The Sonic Image features three major new bodies of work; a large-scale installation commissioned by SAF, as well as a new site-specific performance. Together, this constellation of artworks investigates the boundaries between voice and speech; translation and testimony; representation and reincarnation; and explore the power of sound and image to operate as mutual progenitors, of and in, public testimony.
The Sonic Image is curated by Omar Kholeif, the Foundation’s Director of Collections and Senior Curator.
Khalil Rabah: What is not
4 March–4 July 2022
Sharjah Art Foundation – Gallery 1, 2 and 3, Al Mureijah Square
Khalil Rabah: What is not is an exhibition of significant works by Khalil Rabah, created from the 1990s to the present, that propose speculative frameworks and platforms for exploring how cultural institutions, curatorial practice, museological discourse and critical knowledge operate under long-standing states of emergency and displacement. The exhibition presents an overview of the artist’s ongoing projects, including the Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind, the Riwaq Biennale and Collaborations: by in form, alongside his Scale models.
Focusing on the processes that art practices are subjected to within international institutions, his projects encourage debates about cultural organisations by questioning the social, cultural and political value attributed to artefacts. Emerging from his deep involvement and background in architecture, Rabah’s works seek to provide an alternative vision that challenges public perceptions. He draws on different methodologies to engage with themes of displacement, memory and identity to examine the relationship between humans and their surroundings as well as the nature of the global human condition.
Khalil Rabah: What is not is curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi.
CAMP: Passages through Passages
4 March–4 July 2022
Sharjah Art Foundation – Bait Al Serkal, Arts Square
Passages through Passages brings together a body of key works by CAMP, the Mumbai-based artist studio founded in 2007 by Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran.
Presenting a cross-section of works created between 2006 and 2020, these projects encompass video and audio works, archives —including works featured in previous Sharjah Biennials, interventions and collections, and draw upon the collective’s unique artistic and research methods. Through them, CAMP discuss topics such as anxieties and inoculations about public health under surveillance, the longue-durée of technological methods and advancements, and ideas of movement as transport or of finding unexpected ways forward.
The exhibition is curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi.
March Meeting 2022: The Afterlives of the Postcolonial
5–7 March 2022
Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting, an annual programme that convenes artists, curators, scholars and art practitioners for panels, lectures and performances exploring critical issues in contemporary art, returns in 2022 with a three-day schedule of online and in-person programmes. Expanding upon March Meeting 2021: Unravelling the Present, March Meeting 2022:
The Afterlives of the Postcolonial will examine the legacies of colonialism and the contemporary impacts of related issues on cultural, aesthetic and artistic practices around the world. Together, both of these March Meetings serve as preludes to Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019) and curated by SAF Director Hoor Al Qasimi, which opens in February 2023.
Drawing upon Enwezor’s concept of the ‘Postcolonial Constellation’, March Meeting 2022 considers contemporary art and issues through the lens of postcolonialism, the critical study of the historical, social and cultural legacies of colonialism and imperialism. From this perspective, participants analyse a wide array of current global issues, such as racism, settler colonialism, apartheid, persistent structural inequalities, new imperial wars, migration, social movements including Black Lives Matter, Indigenous rights, climate change and the restitution and repatriation of looted artefacts.
The programme also explores theoretical frameworks such as ‘intersectionality’, ‘coloniality’, ‘decoloniality’ and ‘gendered identities’. To discuss the ‘afterlives’ of the postcolonial, the March Meeting convenes key voices in art and academia whose work reflects discourses, practices, theories and critical perspectives derived from postcolonialism but focused on the world in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and its present and future challenges.
Following March Meeting 2021, which examined the 30-year history of the Sharjah Biennial and the future of the biennial model, March Meeting 2022 further engages with Enwezor’s framework for Sharjah Biennial 15, building momentum towards its opening in February 2023.
Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, will continue to explore these themes, bringing together 30 artists—including John Akomfrah, Coco Fusco, Hassan Hajjaj, Isaac Julien, Bouchra Kahlil, Kerry James Marshall, Steve McQueen, Wangechi Mutu, Doris Salcedo, Yinka Shonibare, Carrie Mae Weems, among others—to make commissioned works, which examine histories that continue to shape our present, alongside a selection of contemporary works by international artists.
More information on SB15 is available at sharjahart.org/biennial-15, and registration for the online and in-person components of March Meeting 2022 is now live at http://saf.sharjahart.org/March-Meeting-2022-En
Gerald Annan-Forson: Revolution and Image-making in Postcolonial Ghana (1979-1985)
7 March– 7 July 2022
Sharjah Art Foundation – Al Hamriyah Studios
In collaboration with The Africa Institute, SAF presents the first retrospective of the work of Ghanaian photographer Gerald Annan-Forson. Featuring photographs primarily taken by Annan-Forson between 1979 and 1985, Revolution and Image-making in Postcolonial Ghana traces the political and social life of Ghana during a period of revolution and transformation, offering a visual story of postcolonial Ghana and its struggles and aspirations in the post-independence period.
Annan-Forson’s style of composition, lens focus, formal repetitions, character representation, and long-term commitment to documenting the changing landscape of Accra, Ghana, has reshaped the understanding of photography as a tool of radical image-making.
The exhibition is curated by artist and ethnographer Jesse Weaver Shipley, Professor of African and African American Studies and Oratory, Dartmouth College, USA.
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