Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting is an annual convening of artists, curators and art practitioners from around the world who come together to discuss vital issues in contemporary art during a three-day programme of panels, performances and events. Titled Unravelling the present, the 2020 edition of the March Meeting is part of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor. According to Enwezor, the Sharjah Biennial is ‘perceived as a module with which to deal with the disruptive power of artistic monolingualism, but also as horizon of the possible to conceive another theoretical space for Thinking Historically in the Present.’
Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Sharjah Biennial, March Meeting 2020 (MM 2020) will examine the history of the Biennial and past March Meetings, bringing together former Biennial curators, participants and interlocutors as well as art historians and critics to discuss the role of the Biennial as a catalyst for critical dialogue and transnational exchange. MM 2020 will also explore the evolution of the Biennial in its effort to break away from traditional modes of curating and displaying art and engaging with the public by activating non-institutional spaces and moving to non-geographic models of representation.
Conceived as a congress of artists, critics, curators, art historians and intellectuals, MM2020 is grounded in the belief in art’s potentiality for the production of civic imaginaries in specific and diverse socio-political contexts. Over a three-day period, the meeting will unfold as panels and roundtables that examine the thirty-year history of the Sharjah Biennial, as well as diverse themes around art and the civic imagination, nations and biennials, curating in an age of crises, and on biennials and postcoloniality.
MM 2020 is grounded in a belief in art’s potentiality for the production of civic imaginaries in specific and diverse socio-political contexts. Over the three days of the meeting, panels and roundtables will examine the thirty-year history of the Sharjah Biennial as well as diverse issues around the MM 2020 theme. Crucially, MM 2020 will take a critical look at the reception, impact and relevance of the Sharjah Biennial in the regional and global contemporary art scenes. A key question for the participants is how and to what extent Sharjah Biennial’s production, orchestration and dissemination of diverse art forms in exhibitionary and educational contexts have contributed to the realisation of new narratives in and experience of modern and contemporary art within and beyond the region.
The proceedings of MM 2020 will be edited and published for the opening of Sharjah Biennial 15 in 2021.