Update

Due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus), March Meeting 2020 has been postponed until further notice.

Click here to read the official letter from Sharjah Art Foundation President and Director Hoor Al Qasimi about March Meeting 2020.

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Overview

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 can be perceived not only as a module for dealing with the disruptive power of artistic monolingualism, but also as a horizon of the possible for conceiving another theoretical space for thinking historically in the present.

Leading up to the 30th anniversary of the Sharjah Biennial in 2021, 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.

MM 2020 speakers include Tarek Abou El Fetouh (curator); Thuraya Al Baqsami (artist, writer); Mona Al Khaja (artist); Hisham Al Madhloum (Chairman, Sharjah Arts Collection); Noora Al Mualla (Director of Learning and Research, Sharjah Art Foundation); Hoor Al Qasimi (President and Director, Sharjah Art Foundation); John Akomfrah (artist, filmmaker); Yousif Aydabi (Cultural Advisor, Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi Centre); Sammy Baloji (visual artist and Co-founder of the Lubumbashi Biennale); Ute Meta Bauer (Founding Director, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU); Zarina Bhimji (artist); Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Director, Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art and Director, Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti); Lucrezia Cippitelli (scholar, curator); Iftikhar Dadi (Associate Professor, History of Art and Director, South Asia Program, Cornell University); Catherine David (Deputy Director, National Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou); Manthia Diawara (Professor, NYU, and filmmaker); Bongiwe Dhlomo–Mautloa (artist, curator); Anita Dube (artist, curator); Ehab Ellaban (Director, Center of Arts Cairo); Reem Fadda (Director, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation); Fehras Publishing Practices (artist collective); Coco Fusco (artist, writer and Professor, Cooper Union School of Art); Thembinkosi Goniwe (Assistant Professor of Art History, Rhodes University); Hou Hanru (Artistic Director, MAXXI); Yuko Hasegawa (Artistic director, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and Professor, Tokyo University of the Arts); Salah M Hassan (Director, The Africa Institute, Sharjah and Goldwin Smith Professor, Cornell University); Geeta Kapur (art critic, curator); Mohammed Kazem (artist); Omar Kholeif (Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation); Vasif Kortun (curator);Adrian Lahoud (Dean, School of Architecture, Royal College of Art London, Co-chair, Rights of Future Generations Working Group and Curator, first Sharjah Architecture Triennial); Peter Lewis (curator); Arshiya Lokhandwala (art historian, curator and Founder, Lakeeren Art Gallery); Margarita Gonzalez Lorente (Vice Director, 13th edition of Havana Biennial and Curator, International Contemporary Art, National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana); Amina Menia (artist); Gabi Ngcobo (curator, educator); Otobong Nkanga (artist); Chika Okeke-Agulu (Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University); Jack Persekian (Director, Al Ma'amal Foundation); Qudsia Rahim (Executive Director, Lahore Biennale Foundation and Director, Lahore Biennale); Enrique Rivera (Director, Biennial of Media Arts of Santiago); Nada Shabout (Professor, Art History and Coordinator, Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative, University of North Texas); Suha Shoman (Founder and Chair, Darat Al Funun, The Khalid Shoman Foundation); Aisha Stoby (curator/researcher); Alia Swastika (curator); John Tain, (Head of Research, Asia Art Archive); Ming Tiampo (Professor, Art History, Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture, Carleton University and Co-Director, Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis); Christine Tohme (Founding Director, Ashkal Alwan); Françoise Vergès (author, public educator, decolonial feminist); Octavio Zaya (Executive Director, Cuban Art Foundation); and Tirdad Zolghadr (Associate Curator, KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Artistic Director, Sommerakademie Paul Klee).

Coinciding with MM 2020, the exhibitions Zarina Bahimji: Black Pocket, Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11, both curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi, and Art in the Age of Anxiety, curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director of Collections and Senior Curator Omar Kholeif, will open on 21 March 2020. Special curator and artist-led tours of the exhibitions will take place throughout MM 2020.

The MM 2020 programme will also include evening performances led by sound artist Tarek Atoui as well as the announcement of this year’s Production Programme grant cycle winners.

The MM 2020 proceedings will be edited and published for the opening of Sharjah Biennial 15 in 2021.

March Meeting 2020 is free and open to the public.

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