Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) announces the selection of Christine Tohmé as the Curator of Sharjah Biennial 13, opening March 2017.
Beirut-based curator Tohmé is the founding Director of Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, established in 1993. Ashkal Alwan is a non-profit organisation that supports contemporary art through numerous initiatives including the multidisciplinary platform Home Works: A Forum of Cultural Practices, initiated by Tohmé in 2001. Other initiatives include Video Works, a grant and screening platform supporting the development, production and diffusion of projects by artists and filmmakers residing in Lebanon, created in 2006, and Home Workspace Program, a tuition-free, interdisciplinary study programme founded in 2011.
Tohmé was the recipient of a Prince Claus Award in 2006, given in recognition of her achievements in supporting local multidisciplinary art production and art criticism, as well as the 2015 CCS Bard Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. She is on the boards of Marsa (Beirut), a sexual health centre providing specialised medical services for at-risk youth and marginalised communities, and SAHA (Istanbul), an association supporting contemporary art from Turkey. The seventh edition of Home Works opens on November 12, 2015.
Sharjah Art Foundation President and Director Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi commented, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Christine Tohmé, whose substantial contributions to the development and direction of the cultural landscape of the Middle East have been recognised both regionally and internationally. She has been a close colleague for many years, participating as a speaker in numerous Sharjah Art Foundation March Meetings and acting as jury member for the Sharjah Biennial Prize in 2011. With her deep knowledge and understanding of the region’s art and artists, we are confident that she will bring a compelling vision and perspective to the next Biennial in 2017.”
On being selected, Tohmé adds, “The Sharjah Art Foundation has become a strong and thoughtful voice in a conversation about contemporary art that is taking place not only across the region but internationally as well. The projects the foundation has produced since its inception are now important points of reference in a dialogue among artists and peers all over the world. I am excited to be part of this history, and I look forward to expanding the conversation in 2017.”