Photo by Alfredo Rubio



Sharjah’s Department of Culture and Information will host the 9th Sharjah Biennial from March 19 until May 16 2009. Under the Patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah and under the auspices of Biennial Director, HH Sheika Hoor al Qasimi, overseen by renowned Curators Isabel Carlos and Tarek Abou El Fetouh and led by Artistic Director Jack Persekian, the 9th edition of the Sharjah Biennial will transcend central themes and pre-cast frameworks, exhibiting instead a wide range of works selected by open invitation. The Sharjah Biennial has since its inauguration in 1993 served to connect artists, institutions and organisations and to foster artistic dialogue and exchange. It ranks amongst the most established and prominent cultural events in the Middle East.

‘The Sharjah Biennial 9, unlike many other Biennials, imposes no geographical classifications on displaying work,’ says Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of the Sharjah Biennial 9. ‘We have also decided not to limit the selection process to a wish-list of participants, but have opted instead to consider work submitted by artists and non-artists alike, who were brave enough to take up the challenge and respond to an open invitation to realise their ideas.’

The SB9 program will comprise the exhibition programme titled ‘Provisions For The Future’ curated by Isabel Carlos, and the performance and film programme ‘Past Of The Coming Days’ curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh. The entire city of Sharjah will be offered to artists for context-specific work, and other SB9 activities will take place across a wide range of venues including the Sharjah Art Museum, the Heritage Area of Sharjah, and the American University of Sharjah.

‘Sharjah is a geographic and cultural meeting place, where the notion of future is permanently evoked,’ comments Isabel Carlos, Curator of the Sharjah Biennial 9. ‘More than a presentation of a global selection of art works, ‘Provisions For The Future’ aims to be a place of production and development of artworks in the context of the city of Sharjah.’

As well as exhibiting works by more than 50 artists from around the world, there are a number of events and programmes designed to support and nurture creativity for local and visiting participants. These include the March Meeting, a networking opportunity for regional art institutions; the Sharjah Biennial Production Programme which explores various schemes and methodologies of artistic production through the provision of resources and know-how; and the Artist-in-Residence Programme, a scheme that hosts visiting artists in Sharjah with the goal of developing context-related work. The opening days of the Sharjah Biennial 9 will coincide with Art Dubai 2009 (18-21 March 2009), offering international visitors the opportunity to experience the diversity of cultural projects now underway in the Gulf region.

‘The Sharjah Biennial has a track record as one of the few art institutions in the region leading a programme of support for artists’ productions,’ explains Jack Persekian, Artistic Director of the Sharjah Biennial 9. ‘This support needs to be sensibly extended to artists operating in the region and those working elsewhere who can positively contribute to the crucial dialogue amongst artists and practitioners, the exchange of experience and the progress of knowledge.’

List of participating artists for Sharjah Biennial 9

Hamra Abbas, Haig Aivazian, Reem Al Ghaith, Diana Al Hadid, Basma Al-Sharif, Halil Altindere, Juan Araujo, Tarek Atoui, Samira Badran, Doris Bittar, Melissa Chimera & Adele Njame, Eugenio Dittborn, Lili Dujourie, Alberto Duman, Jawad Al Malhi, Hala Elkoussy, Haris Epaminonda, Ayse Erkmen, Sophie Ernst, Amir H. Fallah, Lara Favaretto, Lamya Gargash, Mariam Ghani, Simryn Gill, Sheela Gowda, Laurent Grasso, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, N.S. Harsha, Doug Henders, Agnes Janich, Lamia Joreige, Fernando José Pereira, Narelle Jubelin, Nadia Kaabi Linke, Hayv Kahraman, Elena Kovylina, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Maider Lopez, Robert MacPherson, Lani Maestro, Firoz Mahmud, Waheeda Malullah, José Luis Martinat, Hiroyuki Masuyama, Gita Meh, Yonamine Miguel, Giuseppe Moscatello, Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak, Liliana Porter, Karin Sander, Nida Sinnokrot, Valeska Soares, David Spriggs, Ana Vidigal, Sharif Waked, Liu Wei, Lawrence Weiner, Jane & Louise Wilson