The three SB14 curators – Omar Kholeif (participating remotely), Claire Tancons and Zoe Butt – and the Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, Hoor Al Qasimi, will share the work of Sharjah Art Foundation and reveal the individual preoccupations behind each of the three curatorial perspectives for SB14. Opening in March 2019, SB14 will showcase three unique exhibitions that explore the possibilities for creating art when history is increasingly fictionalised, when ideas of ’society' are invariably displaced, when borders and beliefs are under constant renegotiation, and our material culture is under the constant threat of human destruction and climate degradation.

SB14: Leaving the Echo Chamber

Incessant newsfeeds enabled by rapid technological change have created the conditions of a seemingly inescapable echo chamber. Leaving the Echo Chamber, the fourteenth edition of the Sharjah Biennial, ponders the causal realities and residual qualities of this perpetual loop through the distinct voices of its three curators.

Each of the curatorial proposals will ignite critical questions that dwell within this echo chamber. Resisting spaces of enclosure, they reveal a complex polyphony of artistic practices, positions and possibilities within the hyperbolic mediated cultural state in which we live. How do we map our way forward into a realm that seems to be in continual free fall? How do we choreograph a future when narratives are formed through algorithms and history fictionalised or obliterated? How do we mobilise what is left of the idea of the social–let alone the ideal of society–under conditions of dispossession and diaspora? How do we live in a world where borders and beliefs–whether tangible or intangible–need constant renegotiation? How do we frame the body in an age of augmented and virtual reality when the sensorial seems evermore beholden to the retinal? How do we produce art when material culture is under constant threat of human destruction and climate degradation and the world appears as if it were a mirage?

SB14 aims to deepen the context of such questions, presenting a unique set of experiences. It intertwines questions around the demands made on our society and seeks to expand art’s potential as a space for agency.

About Sharjah Biennial

Organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, the Sharjah Biennial is an international platform for exhibition and experimentation for artists from the region and beyond. Since 1993, the Sharjah Biennial has commissioned, produced and presented large-scale public installations, performances and films by artists from around the world, bringing a broad range of contemporary art cultural programmes and cultural producers to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Sharjah Biennial 14 (SB14) will be held in March 2019, and the curators are Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons.

About Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Advancing an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model, the foundation supports the production and presentation of contemporary art. Through the Sharjah Biennial, the annual March Meeting, year-round exhibitions, education and community programmes, grants, residencies and ambitious commissions, the foundation encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art.