Sharjah Biennial 14 “Leaving the Echo Chamber” Opens March 7, Features Prominent African Artists and Scholars

Opening March 7, 2019, Sharjah Biennial 14 “Leaving the Echo Chamber”, examines “the notion of news media and their attendant feeds, which are reinforced by a closed network controlled and governed by private sources, governments and corporations. It is also a metaphor for the historical dominance of capital and the cultural, social and political systems that dictate its access, production and distribution—this ‘capital’ wooing (and thus privileging) particular images, languages, skills, histories and geographies”.

According to Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, “Contemporary life is dominated by competing information and fluctuating histories—a reality that raises important questions about the trajectory of contemporary art, as well as the conditions in which it is made.”

The biennial will present 3 distinct exhibitions titled “Journey Beyond the Arrow”, “Making New Time”, and “Look for Me All Around You” curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons respectively. These exhibitions will include new commissions, public large-scale installations, film and performances.

Organized by Sharjah Art Foundation, the biennial will feature about 80 artists from around the world. Artists from Africa and the diaspora participating at the biennial include: Neo Muyanga (S/Africa), Mohau Modisakeng (S/Africa), Tracey Rose (S/Africa), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Anawana Haloba (Zambia/Norway), Leo Asemota (UK/Nigeria), Mohamed Bourouissa (Algeria), Otobong Nkanga & Emeka Ogboh (Nigeria), Kemang Wa Lehulere (S/Africa), Meschac Gaba (Benin Republic), and Candice Breitz (S/Africa).

Butt, Kholeif and Tancons will also lead three distinct programmatic approaches for Sharjah Art Foundation’s ‘March Meeting’, an annual gathering of local and international artists, curators, scholars and other arts practitioners who examine topical issues in contemporary art through a programme of discourse and performances.

In the opening week, there is a line up of panel discussions and performances that include The Land of Zanj, a processional performance by Mohau Modisakeng and house of MAKEdbA by Neo Muyanga. Conversations between Otobong Nkanga and Koyo Kouoh, Hannah Feldman and Akram Zaatari culminates in a panel that will examine ‘Africa is not a country; the Middle East is not a continent’, moderated by Sofia Victorino. Senegalese scholar Felwine Sarr will be part of the talk, ‘To pay and repair?’ alongside Alexandre Kazerouni, Imani Brown and Philippe Rahm.  

Sharjah Biennial 14 will run from March 7 – June 10, 2019. For more details and the complete list of participating artists, visit sharjahart.org/biennial-14

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