What to expect: Sharjah Biennial 13

The programme of 2017 edition of the biennial curated by Christine Tohme will unfold over a year and across cities

View of the Sharjah Art Foundation venues, main sites for the biennial. Courtesy Sharjah Art Foundation

The Sharjah Foundation have announced the theme and programme for the 13th Sharjah Biennial, curated by Lebanese curator and founder of Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for the Plastic Arts Christine Tohme (read her Power 100 profile here). Titled Tamawuj – which is arabic for ‘a rising or falling of waves, a flowing or surging, undulation’ – the biennial will question, and attempt to offer answers to the conditions for the possibility of an artworld in the region through a yearlong programming across cities in the broader region. At the core of SB13 is the exhibition and public programme, set to unfold in two parts: Act I, the biennial exhibition and programme in Sharjah from March to June 2017, and Act II, the culmination of SB13 taking place in Beirut, Tohme’s hometown, in October 2017.

Concurrently to the main acts of the biennial, four ‘interlocutors’ will curate projects engaging with Sharjah from various cities within the wider region: artist Kader Attia in Dakar, Senegal (January 2017); curator Zeynep Oz in Istanbul, Turkey (May 2017); curator Lara Khaldi in Ramallah, Palestine (August 2017); and the Ashkal Alwan, in Beirut, Lebanon (October 2017). All the research material stemming from the research process for each project will be hosted on a yearlong publishing platform launching on 15 October, and to be regularly updated with articles, essays and images, while an intensive educational programme, designed to help local infrastructures in the western, central and eastern regions of the Emirate of Sharjah, is set to unfold throughout the year as of October.

Sharjah Biennial 13’s opening week will run from 10–14 March and will include performances, film screenings and the 10th annual March Meeting. See here for more details. 

28 September 2016.