Art Production in the Gulf: 20 Years of the Sharjah Biennial
Jack Persekian, Suzanne Cotter, Shumon Basar
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
Art Production in the Gulf
Sharjah Art Foundation Director Jack Persekian and Sharjah Biennial 10 Curator Suzanne Cotter, Curator of Exhibitions, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, will speak on a panel moderated by writer Shumon Basar during the Frieze Art Fair. The Panel will explore both the past and the future of contemporary art production in the Gulf as the Sharjah Biennial celebrates its 10th Anniversary next March.
Since the first International Biennial in 1993 the Emirate of Sharjah has developed a programme of cultural support and patronage that has played a fundamental role in artistic and cultural developments within the Gulf and the greater Middle East. With over 15 museums, two art colleges, the now 10th Biennial and the recently formed Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah continues its role as a leading force in the support and presentation of art in the region.
This panel will begin with a presentation by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Jack Persekian on the history of cultural developments in Sharjah and the Gulf, and a perspective on the future. Sharjah Biennial 10 curator Suzanne Cotter, Curator of Exhibitions, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, will discuss the upcoming Biennial and her experience working in the region. The panel will be led by writer Shumon Basar.
Over the past few years, expansive cultural projects that focus on architectural developments have dominated discussions of art and culture in the Middle East. This panel will look instead at art production, artists and the grass-roots initiatives that have underpinned the growing vibrancy of the region.
The panel takes place at London’s historic Whitechapel Gallery where the first major UK Exhibition of US-based Lebanese artist Walid Raad will be on show. Titled Walid Raad: Miraculous Beginnings, the exhibition will present the most important works from this artist’s past 20 years. Saturday evening, October 16, is the Frieze Art Fair’s East End Night where a wide range of local institutions and galleries open late for Frieze VIP visitors.
Walid Raad will also be represented by a new commission in the 10th Sharjah Biennial.