The Sharjah Biennial 8 (SB8), inaugurates on April 4th, 2007 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Director: Hoor Al Qasimi Artistic Director: Jack Persekian Curators: Mohammed Kazem, Eva Scharrer, Jonathan Watkins
The Sharjah Biennial 8 (SB8), inaugurates on April 4th, 2007 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).The Biennials theme proposes art as a way of creating a better understanding about our relationship with nature and the environment, whilst considering its social, political, cultural and subjective dimensions in an interdisciplinary way. SB8 will focus on the renewed role of art in addressing a wide range of issues that alarmingly affect human existence on earth. The Biennial is aware of the critical ambiguity of its subject matter, and of the fact that it is part of the product-producing and -consuming society, and of the constantly growing tribe of biennials, that year after year, encourage a number of artists, curators, audiences and artworks to travel around the globe. Still, SB8 needs to be critical and will attempt to implicate all sectors of society into questioning our social, political, and ecological praxis.
The Biennials programme includes exhibitions, performances, a film programme curated by Mark Nash and a symposium organised in collaboration with the American University of Sharjah, RSA (London) and curatorial practice Latitudes (Barcelona). The entire city of Sharjah is being offered to more than 80 international artists for the creation of new site-specific work. Exhibitions, performances and events will take place across a wide range of venues including the Sharjah Art Museum, the Expo Centre, the Heritage Area of Sharjah, and several outdoor urban and natural sites. The Sharjah Biennial Art Prizes will be awarded to two winning artists by a jury composed of Negar Azimi, Charles Esche and Geeta Kapur. Furthermore, UNESCO will award their Prize for the Promotion of the Arts & the Young Digital Creator Award, in collaboration with the Sharjah Biennial 8.
Ignasi Aballi; Lida Abdul; Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla; Lara Almarcegui; El Anatsui; Roy Arden; Vladimir Arkhipov; Mireille Astore; Lara Baladi; Noor Al-Bastaki; Taysir Batniji; Marjolijn Dijkman; Bright Ugochukwu Eke; Sophie Elbaz; e-Xplo (Rene Gabri, Heimo Lattner, Erin McGonigle ) with Ayreen Anastas; Touhami Ennadre; Mounir Fatmi; Peter Fend; Franz Gertsch; Abdulnasser Gharem; Simryn Gill; Tue Greenfort; Group Tuesday (Fadi Abdallah, Bilal Khbeiz, Walid Sadek); Graham Gussin; Khaled Hafez; Henrik Håkansson; Anawana Haloba; Ilana Halperin; Mona Hatoum; Susan Hefuna; Uschi Huber; Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim; Alfredo Jaar; Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev; Marya Kazoun; Amal Kenawy; Leopold Kessler; Suchan Kinoshita; Joachim Koester; Christina Kubisch; Deborah Ligorio; Claudia Losi; Lutz & Guggisberg; Tea Mäkipää; Hassan Meer; Gustav Metzger; MindBomb; Abdul Rahman Al Ma’aini; Maha Mustafa; Jesus Bubu Negron; Jacques Nimki; OMA/ Rem Koolhaas & Reinier de Graaf; Cornelia Parker; Pablo Patrucco; Dan Perjovschi; Dan Peterman; Marjetica Potrc; Michael Rakowitz; Ibrahim Rashid; Noguchi Rika; Budoor Al Riyami; Raeda Saadeh; Abdallah Alsaadi; Huda Saeed Saif; Michael Sailstorfer; Tomas Saraceno; Joe Scanlan; Zineb Sedira; Anas Al-Shaikh; Ranjani Shettar; SOI Project; Samir Srouji; Simon Starling; Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger; Rirkrit Tiravanija; Mierle Laderman Ukeles; Sergio Vega; Luca Vitone; Shatha Al-Wadi; Camille Zakharia; Ahmed Mater Al-Ziad.
The Biennials commissions include works by artists like Lara Almarcegui, Michael Rakowitz and Joachim Koester, who assess the need for archiving and annotating information and facts by recalling landscapes, structures and national treasures. Others, such as Marjetica Potrc and Steiner/Lenzlinger address the vital need for fresh drinking water, and Kessler examines the gross manifestation of greed and the perversion of need, in his film work of the Hydropolis underwater restaurant. New commissions will also include the first realisation of the monumental, 1972 installation proposal by Gustav Metzger, where 120 cars are arranged around a cubic glass case and their exhaust fumes made to fill the transparent cube. Artists such as Ranjani Shettar and Luca Vitone have chosen to develop works for the Heritage Area, which is a complex of restored historic, low-rise buildings in the traditional architecture of the Emirates.
The Biennials Symposium forms itself around five key panel discussions, including presentations and workshops. Discussions will tackle the following topics: The sense of eco in the practice of the everyday. Can design and architecture be a political act? How far are recycled and sustainable materials a consideration for artists? What is more important, the issues or the art? And finally, what is the future of the city as a habitat for humanity? The Symposium will include a new video interview with Noam Chomsky by Cornelia Parker, and speakers include Rula Sadik (General Manager, The Design Group, Nakheel, Dubai), Samer Kamal (founder of Beeah, the Sharjah Environmental Company), and Stephanie Smith (Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Curator of Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago), alongside other international experts, and members of the artistic and directorial teams of the Biennial.
Curated by Mark Nash, the Film Programme includes Andre Zdravics Riverglass A River Ballet in Four Seasons an underwater narrative tracing the path and seasons of a river in Slovenia which has come to represent nationalism and purity; Hubert Saupers Darwins Nightmare – a starkly juxtaposed foray into the potential ecological disaster zone of Lake Victoria, and the surrounding inhabitants ebbs and flow to the area, and Oki Hiroyokis The Form of the Palace of Matsumae-kuns Brothers 1 – a nostalgic look into communities, through Hiroyokos video diaries since 1989, alluding to the changes we must all make with regards to our ecological imprints.